20/09/2012 - Key French Social Security Figures - Tout thème
Key French Social Security Figures 2011 (2012 (...)

Key French Social Security Figures 2011 (2012 Edition)

The French social security system was founded in 1945 in order to

ensure that everyone should have the means required to support themselves and their family in decent conditions, under all circumstances [1]

It is based on the principle of solidarity which guarantees financial protection against life’s contingencies for everyone.

It covers health insurance, compensation for occupational injuries and illnesses, pensions and family benefits. These four main branches of the social security system are completed by the collection of
social contributions and cash management.
The French social security system is underpinned by the principles of universality and unity. It is administered through a number of different basic schemes : the general scheme for employees and the unemployed ; agricultural workers’ and farmers’ scheme managed by the CCMSA ; and the RSI scheme for the self-employed which covers the craft, trade and commercial sectors, and independent professionals for health insurance. Other, ’special’ schemes cover specific professions such as civil servants
and railroad and utility employees. The general scheme alone accounts for about three quarters of the total expenditure incurred by the basic social security schemes.

In 2011, total net expenditures amounted to 320.3 billion euros for the general scheme and are estimated at 442.2 billion euros for all schemes combined in the most recent amending Social Security financing bill.
The French social security system is financed by social contributions paid by employers and employees, a general social welfare contribution (CSG) and various other contributions and taxes.

While opinion polls show overwhelming public support for the social security system, there tends to be only a limited understanding of how the system functions and the huge flows of money in the system.
This document aims to fill the knowledge gap by presenting key figures on the French social security system and providing a better understanding of it has evolved over time and the issues faced today.


[1Explanatory statement from the French decree of 4 October 1945 establishing the social security system.