How to understand the contributions you make for your retirement

“I will not have a pension”. This observation sometimes heard in the mouths of young working people raises questions about confidence in the pay-as-you-go pension system. For Valérie Batigne, founder of Sapiendo, the best way to overcome this fear is to provide clear information on the level of contributions and the rights attached to them. It is for this reason that Sapiendo has just launched an online simulator, fast and free, which allows everyone, depending on their level of income and their status, to know the amount of pension contributions paid for a year. or one month of activity. Alongside this amount is indicated the additional pension amount that these contributions should generate in the future.

Before doing this calculation, let’s first recall how to know the level of your contributions. You will find it in the “retirement” section of your payslip if you are an employee. But the sum of these contributions is not indicated. It’s up to you. Then, it is not always easy to understand the different lines appearing in this section. If you earn less than a Social Security cap (41,136 euros gross per year), the pension section of your payslip has three lines: Capped Social Security which concerns the contributions you pay for your basic pension, Social Security uncapped, which is a non-contributory contribution, i.e. it does not allow you to create rights for your future retirement. The third line concerns your supplementary Agirc-Arrco retirement pension tranche 1. These are the contributions you pay to obtain supplementary pension points, within the limit of a Social Security ceiling (41,136 euros gross per year).

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Our example below earns 1,820.04 euros gross per month. Each month, he contributes 125.58 euros for his basic pension. These amounts will generate rights for his future retirement. Then, he pays 7.28 euros, still under the basic pension, but these contributions will not generate any rights for him, so it is a non-contributory contribution. He also contributes 72.98 euros per month for his supplementary pension. In total, he contributes each month for his pension (basic and supplementary) up to 205.84 euros. To these employee contributions must be added the employer contributions, which in total amount to 299.57 euros per month.

Sample payslip


This is not the case in our example, but if you earn more than one Social Security ceiling, you are entitled to two additional rows in your retirement column. This is the Agirc-Arrco tranche 2, i.e. the contributions you pay beyond a social security ceiling to obtain supplementary pension points. Last line, the CET (Technical Balance Contribution). It is non-contributory, you pay a contribution which does not generate rights.

After having seen how to find your pension contributions on your payslip if you are an employee, you should also know that your level of contribution varies according to your status, as shown in the table below.

To properly compare these three situations, the net remuneration was taken into account. For the same level of resources – 30,000 euros per year – we can see that the level of contribution is not the same. It is 36% for private sector employees (employer and employee contributions), 25% for the self-employed and 20% for a liberal professional. Mechanically, as some working people contribute less, they get fewer pension rights. If a year of contribution of an employee earning 30,000 euros then allows him to obtain 526 euros of retirement per year, this figure drops to 419 euros for a self-employed person to 376 euros for a liberal profession. Beyond the contribution rate, this difference is explained by the fact that from one plan to another, the returns are different. This means that with equal contribution, you do not obtain the same level of rights according to the plans. “But the impact of performance on the pension rights that you build up is less important than that of the level of contribution”, warns Valérie Batigne.

By comparing these different results, it also highlights what we tend to forget: contributions allow you to generate future income. While this table outlines three situations, the calculations are made on a case-by-case basis. It is for this reason that Sapiendo is launching a free and accessible simulator to find out what your current contributions should allow you to obtain for your future retirement.

A simulator to calculate your contributions


“This simulator also allows you to enlighten yourself. In the event of a professional change, for example if you stop working for a few years to raise your children, you will be able to know the impact on your retirement”, emphasizes Valérie Batigne. The principle is simple but it is always good to remember it, if you do not contribute, you will not have pension rights.

To access this information, you must specify your status (employee, self-employed, liberal, etc.) and your remuneration. When you have filled in all this information, you can find out what your contributions will “return” to you. Take the example of an asset that earns 26,950 euros net per year. He contributes for his retirement up to 9,721 euros (5,763 euros of contributions are paid by his employer, he pays out of his own pocket 3,958 euros per year). These contributions paid that year “will bring him” 481 euros net per year when he retires.

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