A European citizen is not normally entitled to receive a supplementary allowance from the French Old-age Solidarity Fund if he is not resident in France, ruled the Court of Justice of the European Communities. The allowance, which features in Annex IIa of Regulation 1408/71 on social security systems, is a priori non-contributory. The Court, however, left this last point open since the information in the file submitted to the Court was not sufficiently clear (judgement handed down on 17 January 2007, Jose Perez Naranjo/Caisse regionale d'assurance maladie - CRAM - Nord-Picardie, Case C-265/05).
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Mr Naranjo, a Spanish citizen having worked in France for seven years before returning to live in Spain, applied for the supplementary old age allowance (intended to supplement the pensions of poorer workers). The Caisse regionale d'assurance maladie (CRAM) Nord-Picardie, which pays this allowance in France, refused to pay him on the grounds of its special non-contributory nature making it non-exportable. These benefits, according to Regulation 1408/7, can in fact be made subject to residence in the member state in which the institution responsible for payment is situated.
On the subject of the special character of the benefit, the Court ruled that it must either replace or supplement a social security benefit in order to guarantee minimum subsistence means to the recipient. Intended to increase social security retirement...