Sunday, February 07, 2010

Could Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt enjoy the French social system

In 2008 Angelina Jolie gave birth to her twin son and daughter in France. There was rumor and report that they received social help from the French government, something around 1750 euros a month. I had seen an article in English implying that they are qualified for a lot of social help but I couldn't find back the article. I used to believe this kind of report, but the more I get involved with the system, the more I'm skeptical that this could be true.

Let's look at what kind of social benefits a resident in France gets when having a kid.
1. Birth bonus - 889.72€ (1779.43€ for adopted kid)
You get this one time bonus at the 7th month of the pregnancy in condition that you yearly income is inferior than 43363€.
Don't tell me Jolie and Pitt don't earn more than this amount? For Pete's sake they spent 45 million pounds transforming a castle to their home in south of France. That's how wealthy they are.

On the other hand, since they are so wealthy, they will probably get a huge birth bonus from their health insurance. In my case I got 1143€ from my company insurance. However, this is from the private sector so it doesn't count as social benefit.

2. Basic allowance - 177.95€ per month
Again, they need to earn less than 43363€ a year so they won't quality for this.

3. Allowance for extended maternity leaves - 552.11€ a month (in the case you do not quality for basic allowance)
After the 16 weeks paid maternity leaves, some women prefer to stay home by taking another 6 months unpaid maternity leaves.
Even if Angelina chooses to take this unpaid leaves, she won't be quality for this allowance as she would need to have work in France for 2 years before she could apply.

4. Childcare allowance
If this couple choose to hire babysitters to take care of their 6 children in France, they could enjoy some childcare allowance. Again I'm pretty sure they earn more than 43363€ a year, in this case they could get 167.07€ a month for their children who are less than 3 years old and 83.54€ a month for their kids who are more than 3 years old. Let say they have 3 kids less than 3 years old and 3 kids more than 3 years, the most they could get = 751.83€ per month.

So, they most they can get from the French social systems = 751.83€ per month.
However, to get childcare allowance, they first need to hire at least 2 baby sitters. This creates job for the local. If they pay their baby sitters minimum wages, this could total to 2400€ a month. These baby sitters would have to pay taxes to the French government which could easily surpass the 751.83€ the couple receive.

Besides, to apply for all these allowances, they need to have a valid French income tax return. If they declare their income in France, imagine how much taxes they could contribute to the systems.

As a conclusion, the French system could not be easily abused as believed by many people. In this case, even if Jolie and Pitt managed to "milk" some money out of the system, at the end of the day, France would gain more by collecting taxes from them than paying them.


  1. Very nice article, Bee Ean.

    And congratulations on the birth of your baby and becoming a new mother!

  2. My heart stopped when I read your first few lines! Very good article Bee!
    I didn't know abt the birth bonus and childcare allowance.
    Thank you :)

  3. Thanks for the informative article.. will be useful to me later. Just one question, when you mention yearly income must be inferior to X amount, is that as an individual or as a married couple ?

  4. It is for couple (married or not) with 2 incomes. For couple with one income it should not surpass 32813 euros for household with one child.

    Don't worry, when you are pregnant, the Secu will send you all the necessary information.