Barry in Antibes has worked here for 18 years and at the end of this year will be claiming his state pension. He's heard this could involve "a lot of hassle". Could I explain?
Well, not really - because it's not true. When you're getting near retirement - say, three or four months before - you go along to the appropriate office of the Caisse régionale d'assurance maladie (CRAM), preferably with details of your employment history (pay slips are helpful). Usually the matter is sorted out easily. For residents in the Alpes-Maritimes the main office is at 16 avenue Thiers in Nice (just by the station); for those in the Var at 59 rue Victor Reymonenq in Toulon. Telephone numbers are on page 32 but lines are often busy and it's worth going in person. If your French is adequate there's a pensions info line on 0826 826 700.
From Reporter 103 - June/July 2004