(Updated August 2018)
UK pensioners over 65 in France may qualify for the “allocation de solidarité aux personnes agées” (Aspa) due to the poor exchange rate pushing some expat pensioners below the poverty line. They may also be exempt from income tax, taxe d’habitation and TV licence (audio-visuelle). This state benefit is similar to the UK’s pension credit scheme. If your income, not including other benefits, is less than €833.20 a month for a single person or €1,293.54 a month for a couple you may well be entitled to be topped up monthly to these amounts. They will initially examine the amount you have received in the last 3 months but will also take into account the 12 previous months. The amount you receive is basically the difference between your annual income and the annual maximum which is €9,998.40 for 1 person and €15,522.54 for a couple split monthly. The benefits are being reviewed and more information will be available from January 2019 on the Service Public website.
You are entitled to the aid as a native of a member state of the EU. After Brexit you will only be entitled if you can prove that you have paid French pension contributions for at least 10 years.
You should apply for this allowance via your local ‘mairie’. They may tell you that they know nothing about it, so ask them to find out for you by contacting SASPA www.saspa.fr – the passing on of the correct information and the organisation of the allowance is their responsibility so do not be fobbed off! You can also find the form to fill in on www.lassuranceretraite.fr site.
Beware however, the contributions are reclaimable from your estate on your death if you leave more than €39,000. However they won’t reclaim more than €6571.01 per year for a single person or €8667.76 per year for a couple and will only take the money from the portion in excess of €39,000. (Please note these sums are correct for 2018, you need to check for later years).