Application for early retirement for shift-work and night-work employees

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This early retirement model allows employees who can provide proof they have worked for at least 20 years either in a shift job, as part of a work organisation arrangement involving successive shifts, or in a permanent night-work job, to retire early from active service.

Accordingly, the reduction in work time results in a position being vacated which can be filled by an unemployed persons or apprentices.

Early retirement should not be confused with an early old age pension before age 65: old age pension pertains to pension insurance, whereas early retirement, which is restricted to a term of 3 years, constitutes a mechanism to prevent unemployment. Early retirement is therefore considered as insurance years that count toward the old age pension.

Who is concerned

Early retirement for shift-work and night-work employees may be requested by employees:

  • from both the private and public sectors;
  • who have turned 57;
  • who can provide proof of having completed 20 years of shift work in work organisation arrangement involving successive shifts, or 20 years of work in a permanent night-work job.
For further information, contact the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy ( Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de l'Economie sociale et solidaire) - Department in charge of early retirement, either by telephone (247-86115, morning only) or fax (247-86325).

Preliminary steps

To be eligible for early retirement for shift-work and night-work employees, the employee must:

  • have turned 57;
  • be able to provide proof of having worked for 20 years in a shift job (in a work organisation arrangement involving successive shifts), or 20 years in a permanent night-work job;
  • for public-sector employees, the years spent serving the Government before being appointed as a public-sector or communal worker are taken into account when calculating the 20 years of shift- or night-work;
  • meet the eligibility criteria for either an old age pension or an early old age pension no later than 3 years after the acceptance of their application for early retirement.
If these conditions are met, early retirement cannot be refused: contrary to other types of early retirement, early retirement for shift-work or night-work employees is a vested right.

Deadlines

An employee who wishes to apply for early retirement for shift-work or permanent night-work employees must submit a written request to their employer no later than 3 months before the expected date of acceptance of their application for early retirement.

How to proceed

Procedure

  1. An employee who wishes to apply for early retirement for early retirement or shift-work or permanent night-work employees submits a written request to their employer no later than 3 months before the expected date of acceptance of their application for early retirement.
  2. Their application should be accompanied by a certificate issued by the competent social security entity(ies) establishing the date they became eligible for old age pension or early old age pension.
  3. The employee is also required to provide all documents, certificates or declarations enabling them to prove that they do indeed meet the specific conditions required for this type of retirement (for example, a certificate from the employer describing the nature of the employee's position).
  4. The employer sends a copy of the application to the business' main staff representative delegation and submits to the Minister in charge of Employment a list of all employees who are eligible for early retirement, no later than one month before they become eligible. The employer is required to post a copy of the statement sent to the Minister in charge of Employment at the main entrances to the workplace, and to send another to the business' main staff representative delegations. The Minister in charge of Employment decides whether or not to approve the early retirement.
  5. If early retirement is approved, the end of the normal working relationship is documented in a 'declaration of departure' issued by the employer and sent to the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre commun de la sécurité sociale - CCSS). In this declaration, the employer specifies "early retirement" as the reason for the worker's departure.
    The decision to grant early retirement—taken by the Minister in charge of Employment—entitles the employee to take early retirement and to collect an early retirement allowance from their employer. It also entitles the employer to receive financial support through the Employment Fund (Fonds pour l'emploi).

Amount of the early retirement allowance

The monthly early retirement allowance is calculated using the gross monthly compensation effectively received by the employee in the 3 months immediately preceding the benefit period. For the variable portion of the compensation, the early retirement allowance must be calculated with respect to a 12-month reference period, when this method of calculation is more favourable for the employee. The reference compensation that is used to calculate the monthly early retirement allowance must include any sickness allowance payments, as well as current supplements and premiums, but not compensation for overtime or any allowances for additional costs incurred.

Bonuses and thirteenth-month payments accrue at a rate of one twelfth per month.

The duration of early retirement cannot exceed 3 years, and the payment is spread out over this period with a progressive annual decrease of 5 %. Therefore, the early retirement allowance is equivalent to:

  • for the first 12 months: 85% of the gross monthly compensation received by the employee in the 3 months immediately preceding the payment period;
  • for the second 12 months: 80 % of this compensation;
  • for the period remaining until the day the right to the allowance ends: 75 % of this compensation.

The early retirement allowance must be adjusted to changes in the cost of living, pursuant to the provisions of Article 11, paragraph (1) of the amended law of 22 June 1963 establishing the compensation scheme for civil servants.

Financing

The early retirement allowance is paid to the employee by their employer. The Employment fund reimburses the employer for all of the costs and charges in relation to the payment of the early retirement allowance, including the employer's share of the relevant social contributions.

Who to contact

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