French Social Security System

The French Social Security System: history, values, organisation and financingStill in evolution

In 2005, the social security will celebrate its 60th birthday. the French social security system in its current form was created in October 1945. It was many times reformed.A mutiple system Despite lawmakers’ efforts to unify the system, special system fought to maintain their existence. These regimes concerned, for example, civil servants, seamen or miners. Non-salaried workers farmers and farm employees also create their own system.

Founding values still completely relevant today

Social Security protects the entire population against a certain number of health and social « risks » and provides compensation for
family expenses. These risks are pooled, meaning that no selection takes place and that solidarity comes into play

State as a stakeholder

The State plays the role of legislator, of authority over the leaders and the decisions, and of inspector.It defines the broad guidelines for management and to establish regulations in the area of health insurance, family benefits and retirement pensions, in compliance with the guidelines laid down by the Parliament. The State signs a multiannual agreement on objectives and management with each of the national funds defining the funds’ methods of operation, their objectives and guidelines for the government’s action in the areas that concern them.

Lasting social democracy

To counterbalance the State’s control over social security funds, and from the outset, the management of social security has been the province of the social partners within the framework of a joint approach that has evolved over time.

The need for a system of financing to ensure viability and long-term survival of the French system In France, the main source of funding is contributions based on pay. However, over the past several years, the sources of financing have diversified. The Parliament has each year adopted a social security financing law laying down general conditions for the system’s financial equilibrium. This law sets out objectives for spending, taking expected revenues into account. The general scheme being running a deficit (7.9 billions euros in 2003) , its objective is to ensure the viability of the sickness branch.