I recently requested my code confidentiel from the Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Retraite so that I could check to see how many trimestres I have accumulated towards retirement in France. (Just type in your social security number and they’ll mail it to you.) For those born during or after 1952, you must accumulate 164 trimestres (41 years) in order to enjoy full retirement benefits. But with the trimester system, each month doesn’t really count – only every 3 months do.
So I have one trimestre for 2006, when I worked October to December during my first year as a language assistant. In 2007, I worked January to April and October to December, so I have two trimestres. And I will have another 2 trimestres in 2008 for working those same months.
Luckily starting in 2009, I will receive 4 trimestres. So if David & I decide to stay in France forever and I can continue to work at a permanent full-time job (Ha!), I can retire at the young age of 80.
I’ve worked on and off in the US since I was 16, so how can I check the status of my American retirement benefits? I have no idea how the system works in the US. And how does it work for expats who will most likely never work in the US again? And what if we end up working in Canada or Australia one day?