France Restricts Pension Payments to Moroccan Retirees Amid Calls for Rabat’s Intervention

Paris announced plans to combat “social fraud” and tighten control over pensioners living in a number of countries, including Algeria and Morocco, who profit from money on fake IDs.

French Minister of Labor and Public Accounts Gabriel Atal told Le Parisien newspaper that his ministry’s plans are aimed at combating fraud through embassies, strengthening control over people over 85 living outside the European Union.

According to the latest data released by the National Old Age Insurance Fund (CNAV) in France for 2022, 1,087,595 pensioners live abroad out of 15,049,171 pension recipients, or 7.2% of beneficiaries, indicating that most of the countries represented by residence, Algeria (341,184), Portugal (163,850), Spain (157,074), Italy (65,829) and Morocco (60,864).

The amounts affected amounted to 6.8 million euros for 2019, which is a small amount compared to more than 4 billion paid by pension insurance (3.2% of the total) to 1.2 million pensioners living abroad. The percentage of centenarians among pensioners living abroad remained the same as among the French population.

The French government wants to act quickly, the minister said, as a decree will be issued by summer this year allowing the government to monitor pensioners over 85 abroad, especially those living outside Europe, about 500,000 people.

“Obviously we don’t need to label anyone, but we need to be specific,” Atal said. “We will work through the consulates, embassies and local banks that we work with.”

He emphasized that this problem is not new, since 2020 the Accounts Bureau admitted in a report that “the implemented measures (…) do not adequately cover the risk of unjustified continuation of benefits to policyholders living abroad whose death did not occur. previously reported. Their relatives send fake certificates of existence.”

For its part, the Moroccan newspaper Hispress considered that these new French measures constituted a restriction and an obstacle to the payment of pensions to Moroccan pensioners and quoted political analyst Omar Almorabet, who stated that “the French decision is clearly political in nature, since, despite against these thefts, other countermeasures could be taken.

Lamurabet emphasized that “Moroccans with French citizenship and those affected by this decision do not find strong means to prevent these unjust measures against them, since the French judiciary is always late in such cases, which requires the official intervention of the Moroccan state.”

Source: Le Parisien + Hespress

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