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What is hardship retirement? Who can benefit ?

What is hardship retirement? Who can benefit ?

Some employees have the option of retiring earlier because of the arduous nature of their work. This opportunity is open to those who justify a permanent incapacity of professional origin or to those who have a certain number of points on their professional prevention account (C2P).

Retiring earlier due to permanent work-related incapacity

The legal retirement age is set at 62. Nevertheless, some employees have the possibility of retiring earlier, from the age of 60. This opportunity concerns workers who hold a position exposed to arduous work, i.e. a job subject to one or more professional risk factors defined by the Labor Code (physical constraints, aggressive environment and work rhythms) which may leave lasting, identifiable and irreversible traces on health, as indicated by Union Retraite, a public interest group (GIP) which brings together compulsory, basic and supplementary pension bodies.

Hardship at work therefore allows employees who are suffering from a permanent work-related incapacity recognized by Health Insurance to benefit from early retirement. This is also the case for employees who have suffered an occupational disease or an accident at work.

In these cases, these employees automatically benefit from a retirement pension amount at the full rate even if they do not yet justify the duration of retirement insurance to obtain this full rate.

To exercise his right to early retirement, an employee in this situation must submit a request to the Pension and Occupational Health Insurance Fund (Carsat) or his pension fund at least 4 months before the date starting point chosen.

Proof of a permanent disability rate of at least 10%

Employees who suffer from a permanent incapacity of at least 10% due to an occupational disease, or an accident at work, can retire before the legal retirement age. However, certain conditions must be met depending on the level of this permanent disability rate.

Permanent disability rate from 10% to 19%

Employees suffering from a permanent incapacity of between 10% and 19% due to an occupational disease can benefit from early retirement if their deteriorated state of health is caused, at work, by painful postures, manual handling of loads, mechanical vibrations or exposure to chemical agents hazardous to health.

To be able to retire earlier, employees who cannot justify these poor working conditions must prove that their permanent incapacity of 10% to 19% is due to exposure for at least 17 years to occupational risk factors. , and provided that a commission, whose opinion is binding on the pension fund of the employee concerned, validates these elements.

These occupational risks are:activities carried out in a hyperbaric environment, i.e. where the pressure is higher than atmospheric pressure, extreme temperatures, noise, night work, shift work in 3x8 or 2x12 shifts, and repetitive work defined as the performance of work involving the execution of repeated movements, soliciting all or part of the upper limb, at a high frequency and at a constrained rate.

An employee who is the victim of an accident at work must also prove that he was subjected to these same occupational risk factors in order to be able to claim to retire earlier for hardship if this accident at work did not lead to injuries identical to those compensated in the event of occupational disease.

Permanent disability rate of 20% or more

Employees whose permanent disability rate due to an occupational disease is at least 20% can benefit from early retirement for arduous work as of right, without having to justify special working conditions.

If they suffer from this incapacity because of an accident at work, the latter must have caused injuries identical to those compensated in the event of occupational disease in order to be able to retire earlier.

Retire earlier thanks to your professional prevention account (C2P)

Hardship at work, which can allow some employees to retire earlier, can also be measured through what is called the professional prevention account (C2P). The latter is used to determine the risk factors to which an employee may be exposed in his work.

The C2P concerns employees in the private or agricultural sector who have an employment contract of at least one month, who are affiliated with Social Security or the Mutualité sociale agricole (MSA), and who are exposed to at least one hardship at work which has lasting and irreversible consequences on their health.

These risk factors are classified according to their intensity and the minimum duration of employee exposure. This may be night work, alternating shift work, repetitive work, or factors related to the work environment (extreme temperatures, noise, etc.).

Beyond a certain exposure threshold, an employee accumulates points every quarter on this account which can enable him to benefit from early retirement for hardship from the age of 60. In general, an employee acquires 4 points per year if he is exposed to a risk factor at his workstation (8 points for those born before July 1956) and 8 points per year (16 for the oldest) for exposure to several risk factors.

This C2P in fact allows you to increase your pension insurance period according to the number of points acquired:10 points thus allow you to gain a quarter. These points can be used in increments of 10 up to a maximum of 80 points, or at best eight additional quarters of pension insurance at the end of the day.

It is the employer who is responsible for declaring the hardship situations of his employees to the pension funds via the Nominative Social Declaration (DSN), a declaration that he makes every month online on the basis of payslips that it publishes and which includes information about its employees.

How to claim your professional prevention account to retire earlier

If he has accumulated enough points and if he is at least 55 years old, an employee can ask to use his professional prevention account to obtain a free increase in his insurance period for retirement, i.e. attribution of one or more additional quarters, to be able to benefit from an early retirement.

To do this, he must complete a specific form (cerfa 15511*03) and send it via his personal space on the dedicated site,, or send it by post to this address:Professional prevention account, Free response 86057, 35099 Rennes Cedex 9.

An employee who uses his C2P to retire earlier does not benefit from a more advantageous pension amount. The latter is in fact calculated according to the usual rules applied to all employees.