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French expatriates : social welfare and employability

The 4th edition of the Barometer 2016 “Expatriates and social protection” at the initiative of Humanis and in partnership with lepetitjournal.com has just been published.


An online poll of 2,356 French citizens living abroad was conducted between January 4th and 15th of 2016.


⇒ 7 out of 10 French expatriates are missing the “French-style” social welfare !

Among the French expatriates surveyed, 53% said they are missing the French health care system.


Thus, social welfare is in third position, after family (75%) and culture (56%), in what French citizens abroad are missing the most.

Besides, for ¾ of expatriates, to maintain a link with the French health care system (pension, social security) is very important.



The survey highlights the following points:


• French people prepare more and more themselves their social protection (pensions, healthcare, sick leave, unemployment) before going abroad: 46% in 2016 vs. 36% in 2015 and 31% in 2014. Among the remaining people surveyed, 19% said that their companies managed it for them.


• French people try to get more information on their welfare cover before going abroad (27% were not informed in 2016 vs. 34% in 2015). They usually got these information from their businesses (27%), but also from business or personal relations (23%), the French social security (18%) and local network / word of mouth / expatriate associations (15%). The number of websites dedicated to expatriates is growing very fast (9% vs 3% in 2016 in 2015).


• Generally, French expatriates feel well informed about welfare system (54% in 2016 vs. 45% in 2015) but much less about pension system: 60% say they are uninformed.



⇒ How do the French expatriates are socially covered abroad?


It is strongly advised to French people wishing to emigrate, to purchase the following insurances: - Pension insurance - Health insurance - Provident insurance - Repatriation insurance



Health insurance

As part of the poll, it appears, logically, that health coverage is the most subscribed by expatriates: 81% of the expatriates surveyed say they are covered. A high and stable rate for years, yet it shows that almost one French expatriate out of 5 is still not covered (55% due to high cost).



Pension insurance

44% of respondents (active French expatriates) say they contribute to a pension fund in addition to the mandatory local system. This coverage is usually managed by the employer (28%).

The most common retirement system is via a local private capitalization system (58% in 2016 vs. 49% in 2015). The other half mainly contributes to the supplementary pension AGIRC-ARRCO, or French basic pension or a private French funded system (retirement savings).

This rate (pension coverage) increased compared to 2015 when it was 38%, but it nevertheless shows that almost half of expats (49% vs 56% in 2015) still do not contribute to any pension fund, in addition of the mandatory local system.



Provident insurance

The provident coverage (which covers, among other, heavy risk of disability and death following an accident) is purchased by 42% of French expatriates, mostly via their companies (27%).



Repatriation insurance

46% of expats report having this insurance. According to the survey results, it is more chosen by the wealthiest expats, with children and for the more distant destinations (Asia, Australia, Pacific).



⇒ What is the impact of expatriation on employability?


86% of French expatriates are convinced that, abroad, they gain skills they would not have had in France. They also think, for 79% of them, that this experience will help them get a more attractive profile for future French employers.

However, they are more mixed on the fact that this experience will allow them, back in France, accessing to greater responsibilities (yes for 59%) and to an higher level of remuneration (yes for 51%).

Overall, 95% of French residents abroad would recommend to relatives and friends to try the experience of expatriation…

Expatriation is seen and experienced as a springboard for the job! Moreover, 68% of French expatriates even say that it is, according to them, currently easier to find a job abroad than in France.


Source : Baromètre 2016 « Les expatriés et la protection sociale » – Humanis & lepetitjournal.com

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