Retirement: Generous professions are being completely questioned

Self-employed and mainly liberal professions in France are currently faced with an important choice: remain affiliated to the CIPAV (Casse Interprofessionnel de Prévoisen et d’Assurance Véleuse) or join the social security scheme for the self-employed. to be (SSI). This decision will have a significant impact on his retirement and social security. With the deadline set at the end of December and the impossibility of going back once this deadline has passed, it is essential for these professionals to understand the issues and make an informed decision.


CIPAV, which previously grouped around 400 businesses, currently has only twenty. This huge shortfall can be explained in part by the Social Security funding law passed in 2018. In fact, it decided to attach several hundred unregulated liberal professions to the general social security system, in the framework of the RSI reform and the creation of social. Security for the Self-Employed (SSI). CIPAV’s area of ​​intervention has gradually narrowed and today, the self-employed who are no longer part of its portfolio of businesses are invited to join SSI. In fact, about 70% of its contributors can activate the right to opt for SSI, that is, about 350,000 people out of 500,000 insured persons covered by CIPAV.

Originally, CIPAV was a pension fund specializing in the social security of self-employed individuals practicing liberal professions. It provides services tailored to the specific needs of such profiles and is recognized for its expertise in these areas. As a pension fund, it manages the two mandatory pension levels in France (basic and supplementary) as well as the invalidity and death of its policyholders. To be affiliated, you must belong to a certain type of independent group: “A liberal activity is any independent, non-salaried, non-agricultural, non-commercial or non-artisan occupational activity.” (CIPAV). Following the 2018 Social Security funding law, the scope of liberal businesses covered by CIPAV was revised and a list of businesses was redistributed. You can find there architectural professions (architect, interior designer, construction economist, project manager, specialist surveyor), consulting engineer, professions related to mountains (ski instructor, mountain guide, mid-mountain guide), automobile specialist, specialist. courts, legal representatives for adult protection, tour guides, artists not affiliated with artists’ houses or even various wellness professions (osteopaths, psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, dieticians, chiropractors, psychotherapists) Are.

Also, SSI provides social security coverage in line with the general social security system. One of the main benefits of SSI is administrative simplification, as it allows philanthropic businesses to benefit from the same processes and procedures as other self-employed workers. Therefore, it may be easier to manage their social security including pension related issues.

CIPAV is in turmoil

Since the early 2010s, CIPAV has been repeatedly isolated. Indeed, two consecutive reports in 2014 and again in 2017 pointed to somewhat faltering actions: significant delays in liquidation of pensions, errors in calculation of contributions, or even errors in file follow-up. In 2023, this private body under state supervision once again came under the scrutiny of the judicial authorities and especially the court of auditors, following serious delays in the payment of pensions.

Also, since the beginning of the year, due to a change in the method of calculating contributions to the Sipav supplementary pension, many policyholders have reported an increase in the amount of their contributions. Indeed, from January 1, 2023, with the new calculation methods for supplementary pension and disability-death contributions, the collection of Sipav contributions has been transferred to Ursaf. Since that same date, contributions are now proportional to income from activity, whereas they were previously defined as a flat rate according to the 8 income brackets (Urschaf table).

a necessary option

In order to make an informed decision, upscale businesses must take several criteria into account. First of all, the financial aspect is important. The contributions and benefits offered by CIPAV and SSI may differ, so it is important to assess the financial implications of each option. Again, the quality of services and case management are factors to consider. Self-employed professionals should be sure to select an organization capable of meeting their specific needs in terms of follow-up and administrative management. So the approximately 350,000 policyholders will have to study their particular case, making several calculations, before making a decision. Thus, facing an increase in contribution to CIPAV, many professionals would decide to switch to SSI, but there should be nuances in everything. In fact, there are also many limitations to opting out of Social Security for the self-employed to prevent contribution increases, and so everything must be thoroughly factored in. For example, the survivor’s pension, in other words, may affect the rights of the surviving spouse. In fact, if the deceased belongs to SIPAV, his or her surviving spouse automatically gets the benefit of reversion to supplementary pension, without justifying the terms of resources. A more complex aspect in SSI planning, as the income of the surviving spouse must not exceed a certain amount.

Thus, the decision will have to depend on the background, needs, preferences and expectations of each individual.

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