how to count your quarters to retire earlier

Did you start working early? Are you persuaded or persuaded to be able to leave at age 60, 62 or before age 64 despite the reform? Attention puzzle: you must tackle the calculation of quarters deemed to be cotized. Bad news: there is no trick to count them easily…

1. Career starts early? At what age can you leave… at best?

The suspense no longer needs to be: barring a cataclysm, the pension reform will apply from September 1, 2023. For those who started working early, the reform is a game-changer. Before, you had to have 4 or 5 quarters of contributions before the end of the year of your 16 or 20 years to leave 2 or 4 years before the legal age of departure, therefore 58 or 60 years instead of 62 years.

Early retirement BEFORE the reform
60 years
58 years old
If you are n…You must have validated,
before the end of the year of your
20 years…
You must have validated,
before the end of the year of your
16 years old…
From January to September5 quarters5 quarters
From October to December4 quarters4 quarters

The government wanted to accommodate future retirees who started their career early or very early. The legal age will gradually increase to 64 years. Instead of two age terminals (16 and 20 years old), four terminals now open the right to early departure: 16, 18, 20 and 21 years old.

Retirement anticipates AFTER reform
63 years old
62 years old
60 years
58 years old
You are n…You must have validated,
before the end of the year of your
21 years old…
You must have validated,
before the end of the year of your
20 years…
You must have validated,
before the end of the year of your
18 years…

You must have validated,
before the end of the year of your
16 years old…

Between January and September5 quarters5 quarters5 quarters5 quarters
Between October and December4 quarters4 quarters4 quarters4 quarters

Attention: this table refers to the long-term situation for long careers, i.e. several years after the entry into force of the reform.

Knowing, however, that early retirement at age 63 will only be interesting for those born after 1964: before the legal age will be less than 63, so this limit will be temporarily useless.

Long career: what will change with the pension reform

2. Early retirement: is working young enough?

No! Many people think they have a long career when no, they don’t have the right to it, cuts Marilyn Vilardebo, president and founder of retired firm Origami&Co. Yes, you have to start working early, but that’s not all. You also need all your trimesters! How many quarters? The extension of the contribution period also applies to long careers: 172 quarters if you were born in 1965 or later.

How many quarters for an early departure, or for a full rate retirement?
year of birthQuarters required
1960167 quarters
41 years and 9 months of work (or assimilated)
January 1961 August 1961168 quarters
42 years old
September 1961 December 1961169 quarters
42 years, 3 months
1962169 quarters
42 years, 3 months
1963170 quarters
42 years, 6 months
1964171 quarters
42 years, 9 months
1965 or after

172 quarters
43 years

With the exception of the 1961-1963 generations. A safeguard clause allows those who meet the conditions for an early departure before September 1, 2023 to avoid the impact of the reform.

Long career. Born in 1963, having worked before the age of 20, can I retire at 60?

Concrete case: Patricia was born in 1964. She has 5 trimesters at the end of the year of her 18 years. Possible departure from the age of 60? No, because he not only needs the condition of the beginning of his career but also that of the end of his career: have enough quarters required, 171 in his case! With a slightly shaky career, she will have to work until the end of her 171st term to leave early.

Quarter worked? Not quite: deemed quarter contributed… Which implies a less generous count than the validated quarters (for the full rate) but a little more flexible than the quarters cotized, ie really worked.

3. Quarters validated, credited or deemed credited: what are the differences?

Valid quarters. This is the count that you find on your career statement. The count allowing you to know at what age you can leave full rate: clearly the count for classic careers, not long careers. Count sick leave, maternity leave, military service, compensated unemployment, etc.

Quarters contributed. This is the most restrictive count: simplifying only the quarters in which you worked. When your income has been subject to old-age contribution (1). This breakdown is useful for eligibility for the minimum pension (contributory minimum).

Quarters deemed to be contributed. This is the decisive count for the early departure for a long career! An in-between between the two previous counts. Example: compensated unemployment only includes a long career within the limit of 4 quarters, therefore a maximum of one year. Military service? 4 trimesters max. Sick leave and work accident? 4 trimesters max. Disability 2 trimesters max. On the other hand, maternity and adoption leave are indeed counted in full.

4. Where to find the quarters deemed to be paid, necessary for a start in a long career?

Unfortunately, as easy as it is to take stock of your valid quarters, as much for trimesters selected for early departure… They are nowhere clearly indicated!, says Marilyn Vilardebo.

They are nowhere clearly indicated!

And those that appear on your career statement, download from On the individual situation report, you have a single total of quartersreplies Marilyn Vilardebo: those who have been valid. It is therefore impossible to find an easy count of your quarters required for an early departure.

5. So, how do you take stock of your quarters deemed to be contributed?

If you want to check eligibility for a long career, you have to dissect everything! For example, if you have 3 years of unemployment, you have 12 validated quarters but only 4 quarters deemed to be credited for the long career, explains Marilyn Vilardebo, from Origami&Co.

If you want to check eligibility for a long career, you have to dissect everything!

Aside from immersing yourself in scholarly calculations… it is impossible to count your deemed quarters, confirms with bitterness Claude Wagner, specialist in information on retirement at CFDT-Retraits and who is facing an unprecedented influx of questions on the long careers since the announcement of the pension reform. The public long career is mainly worker and employee: they need to be reassured, adds Claude Wagner, who regrets that these future withdrawals have no simple solution to calculate their deemed quarters.

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And by asking for your Carsat? This is the official way to find out your early departure conditions… but the Retirement Insurance services are currently beset with questions and MoneyVox is precisely receiving numerous testimonies from future withdrawals who are unable to obtain an answer in their Carsat.

Two (imperfect) tips for counting your long career quarters

First tip. Meeting on your career statement on The distinction is made there between quarters selected for a full rate departure and the number of quarters contributed. This last count is not that of the deemed assessed quarters but it allows you to compare your assessed quarters and your validated ones by trying to understand the differences. Or to add the periods deemed to be paid as described above to your paid quarters.

Second tip. Make the work simulator Info-Retraite My retirement estimate: By connecting to your retirement account, the My retirement estimate service can also tell you if you are eligible [au dispositif carrire longue], says the Union Retraite group, ensuring that this updated personalized simulator does indeed take into account the new conditions for early departure for a long career. But Claude Wagner, of the CFDT-Retraits, cut short any excess of enthusiasm: For the quarters reputed to be cotized, the simulator does not know how to do. Clearly, this simulator offers you an estimate, based on information known by the schemes to which you have contributed… but not an irrevocable sentence.

6. Do I have to claim a certificate of early retirement for a long career from the Retirement Insurance?

In normal times, for an early departure: you must check your career statement, request regularization in the event of missed quarters, then download the long career certificate application and send it 6 months in advance.

Problem: as the Retirement Insurance recognizes, for lack of a computer system up to date with the reform, the retirement files concerned by the reform are currently being investigated but not liquidated. In short: not finalized. The computer will be day from mid-July, promises the CNAV (National Old Age Insurance Fund). Result: certificates for long career departures in the coming months are still awaitedthey too… At least for those who are affected by the reform.

Waiting for? If you are ever sure of being entitled to a start in a long career at the beginning of 2024, for example, it is better to launch the requests. Reformed or not reformed, you must launch your retirement application file 5-6 months BEFORE the chosen date, insists Marilyn Vilardebo. Despite the extended deadlines. Because the guarantee of payment of a provisional pension, pending the final calculation, only works if you have respected the period of 4 months minimum.

The long career certificate is only a security for the employee: it is not an obligation, adds Claude Wagner. But you still need to be able to ensure that your count of quarters deemed to be costed is correct…

(1) In the breakdown, also count the quarters contributed abroad, for training leave, validated by presumption, etc.

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