Minimum old age pension: true or false according to Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella?

During the electoral campaign for the European elections, the leader of the National Rally, Jordan Bardella, and the spokesperson for RN deputies, Marine Le Pen, argue that non-French citizens over 65 years old, arriving from abroad and who have never contributed, would benefit from the minimum pension. This statement, although shocking, is somewhat simplistic and toned down.

Eligibility conditions for foreigners for the Aspa

The issue of access to the minimum pension for newly settled foreigners in France is at the heart of political debates during this period of the electoral campaign for the European elections. Indeed, Jordan Bardella and Marine Le Pen have recently raised this issue, highlighting the fact that some foreigners over 65 years old could benefit from the Allocation de Solidarité aux Personnes Âgées (Aspa), formerly known as the minimum pension.

However, it is important to specify that not all foreigners arriving in France after the age of 65 are automatically eligible for the Aspa. Indeed, certain strict conditions must be met to benefit from this assistance intended for retirees with modest incomes.

Firstly, the concerned foreigners must be in a regular situation in French territory and reside there stably for at least nine months per year. In addition, they must provide either a residence permit allowing work for at least ten years, or the status of stateless person, refugee, or beneficiary of subsidiary protection. An exception is also provided for foreigners who have served in the French army or are nationals of a European Economic Area member state.Furthermore, like French citizens, foreigners eligible for the Aspa must respect an income threshold set at €1012 per month for a single person. They must submit an application to their retirement fund which will assess their eligibility based on these strict criteria.

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The diversity of Aspa beneficiaries

If foreigners meet all the eligibility conditions, they can claim a monthly allowance of up to €1012 for a single person with no other sources of income. However, not all Aspa beneficiaries necessarily receive this maximum amount, especially if they have other incomes such as a small pension. In fact, if a beneficiary already receives an €800 pension, they will only receive around €200 under the Aspa. Thus, the majority of beneficiaries do not receive the full allowance.It is interesting to note that foreigners represent about a third of Aspa beneficiaries, as highlighted by the Court of Auditors in a recent report. In 2022, over 512,000 people were receiving the Aspa according to Drees estimates. However, the non-take-up rate of this allowance remains high, as many eligible individuals do not take the necessary steps to benefit from it. Indeed, one out of two eligible persons, especially among the foreign population, does not receive the minimum pension, often due to a lack of awareness of their rights.

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