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La prise en compte du couple par le système de retraite : réversion et partage des droits


  • Carole Bonnet
  • Jean-Michel Hourriez


This paper examines the features of two systems for allocating pension rights accrued as a spouse: the survivor’s pension and pension splitting. The survivor’s pension enables the surviving spouse to maintain his/her living standard after the other spouse’s death: under a non-means-tested system, the higher the survivor’s own pension with respect to that of the deceased spouse, the higher his/her standard of living (or the smaller its decline) after widowhood. This means that the income of widowers is generally higher than that of widows. A pension splitting system, on the other hand, guarantees the same income to both widows and widowers. In the event of divorce, pension splitting provides an own pension to each ex-spouse, independently of their subsequent life choices, and partially equalizes men’s and women’s incomes. But the system penalizes the spouse with the higher income. In the event of death or divorce, equal pension splitting is less costly for the pension system than a non-means-tested survivor’s pension. However, it is rarely an attractive option for the pension recipients, women included. Pension splitting at a higher rate (above 50%), whose overall cost to the pension scheme is equivalent to that of the survivor’s pension, would be an interesting alternative option.

Suggested Citation

  • Carole Bonnet & Jean-Michel Hourriez, 2012. "La prise en compte du couple par le système de retraite : réversion et partage des droits," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 67(1), pages 159-176.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:popine:popu_1201_0159

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    Cited by:

    1. Anne Lavigne, 2016. "Quelle réforme pour la réversion en France ?," Working Papers halshs-01316615, HAL.
    2. Anne Lavigne, 2018. "Quelle réforme pour la réversion en France ?," Working Papers halshs-01715935, HAL.
    3. Christian Rodrigue TAGNE, 2016. "Derived Pensions Rights and Pension Wealth: an Assessment Using French Data," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 2431, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.


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