WYCC ‘French Law’ is the first retirement plan for seafarers created in accordance with the French Decree 2017-307 of 9 March 2017. The program was submitted and approved by members of the French government, ENIM and Maritime Affairs by the law firm INCE & Co. and is fully compliant with French social security law following an amendment in 2018 to include private schemes.
WYCC’s retirement plan consists of 2 main parts with 8 social security branches:
1. A real retirement plan adapted to the seafaring profession
- It can be adopted by all nationalities, for seafarers who are permanently or temporarily French residents (living on the vessel).
- Currency options are Euros and US Dollars.
- Seafarers have a choice of investment profile and can modify this at any time.
- The assets are owned by the seafarer who can consult the portfolio at any time.
- Multiple employers can make payments with at least 50% employer contributions in order to be in harmony with French and international social security practices.
- The employers will pay for all contributions (employer/employee) and the shipowner will be certified that the seafarer has a pension plan in place.
- Income tax deduction is immediate; employee contributions are deducted from the gross salary. Net salary will be the new basis for tax income (if applicable).
Note: You may have heard that the PERP – or individual pension contracts – in France can be used as a solution. However, these plans have several disadvantages:
These contracts can only be subscribed in Euros.
The investment profile is selected at subscription and cannot be modified.
You must provide proof of a physical address in France to the bank or insurance company – which is sometimes impossible for seafarers who live on the ship. Providing a false address (employer address or maybe insurance broker or financial adviser) exposes you to lawsuits.
- Under the MLC and French law, the employer must be able to verify the affiliation to a pension plan at any time. The subscription of an individual pension plan does not technically make it possible to check the payment of contributions. Only the employee can be debited.
For the above reasons, such products are very difficult to correctly implement for seafarers.
2. To comply with French legislation, you must also ensure that you have crew insurance adapted to social security laws.
It is necessary to check that your crew and/or P&I coverage includes the following benefits:
- Survivor benefit following an accident or illness in order to protect your spouse and/or children.
- Family benefits such as a birth allowance – an allowance based on the number of dependent children to finance education in case of a major event such as death, accident or illness of the seafarer.
- Maternity benefits that include medical expenses and maternity leave for a minimum of 16 weeks.