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"Cumul emploi-retraite": what does it mean?

The “Cumul emploi-retraite” enables employers to hire a pensioner, including their former employee, who, despite having retired, can work again while accumulating their retirement pension and a salary.

But which pensioners are we talking about? There are two cases:

  • First case

    Employees who have received their retirement pensions at the statutory full-rate pension age (67), regardless of their insurance length, or those who have obtained their pensions at the statutory retirement age (62 for the generation born between 1955 and 31 August 1961 and gradually increasing to 64 for the generation born from 1 January 1968) if they have the length of insurance required for a full-rate pension. These pensioners can benefit from the “Cumul emploi-retraite intégral”  (also known as “Cumul emploi-retraite total”).

  • Second case

    Employees who have received their retirement pensions without meeting the age and/or insurance period conditions, or who have not received all their compulsory retirement pensions. These employees can benefit from the “Cumul emploi-retraite plafonné” (also known as “Cumul emploi-retraite partiel”).

This distinction is important because it determines the remuneration that employees may receive. In the case of a “Cumul emploi-retraite intégral”, employees can merge their basic retirement pension with their salary, whereas in the case of a “Cumul emploi-retraite plafonné”, they benefit from a capped combination (ceiling = last working salary received before liquidation or 160% of the minimum wage, whichever is higher). If the ceiling is exceeded, the amount of the pension is reduced accordingly.

Employers who hire a pensioner (whether a former employee or not) must comply with all the legal obligations applicable to any recruitment. There are no specific measures concerning retired persons. A fixed-term contract (taking care to ensure that the grounds for recourse are limited) or a permanent contract must be signed on a full-time or part-time basis. The salary paid will give rise to the payment of compulsory contributions (social security contributions; unemployment insurance contributions even if they are over 67), Agirc-Arrco contributions, and provident fund contributions (unless there is a specific provision in the contract with the provident fund).
Since 1 September 2023, the “Cumul emploi-retraite intégral” has been made more attractive because it generates pension rights that allow employees (not including employees on “Cumul emploi-retraite plafonné”) to benefit from a second pension under the basic scheme when their employment contract is terminated. However, no rights can be acquired after the liquidation of a second pension (except in exceptional circumstances).

For “Cumul emploi-retraite plafonné”, there is a waiting period of 6 months between liquidation of the pension and recruitment. For “Cumul emploi-retraite intégral”, there is no waiting period between the liquidation of the pension and the hiring, except for pensioners hired by their former employer: in this case, the six-month period applies because it is a condition for the creation of new rights.

Termination of the contract is governed by the rules of ordinary law and must therefore be justified in the case of dismissal. The employee can only benefit from one severance or retirement payment, which is awarded when the pension is first fully settled.
(Law no. 2023-270, 14 April 2023, OJ 15 April).

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