We were talking about retirement today at lunch.
Retirement benefits in France are calculated on a point system.
For each year that you work you earn a ‘point’, with your total number of points maxing out at 40. For each point you have, you get better benefits upon retirement. If you max out, you will earn in retirement some percentage of your best annual Salary (people debated as to whether the number was 40%, 50% or 80%).
Points are earnable any where in the EU, and a certain number of points are transferable from other Countries including America (I’m not sure about Canada). Additionally, you can spend your points in any other country in the EU. This means that it’s possible that you could work in Germany your whole life, where wages are quite high, and then retire in France, where wages are low but retirement and medical benefits are high.
An interesting fact that I learned today: You get 3 points for each child that you bear. So, normally a woman can retire with full benefits after 40 years of work. However, if she has three kids, she can retire 9 years early!