France probes its Algerian pensioners, alive and dead


Just how much money is the French government paying to dead Algerians whose families continue to draw their pensions long since they have been buried?

Bryan Masson, a French MP and member of the opposition National Rally and a member of the Finance Committee of the National Assembly, denounced on 8 March, during an intervention in the hemicycle, pension fraud paid by the France to former immigrant workers, mainly Algerians.

According to a number of reports in the French press recently, only something like 18 percent of Algerians who were entitled to draw a French pension – and who were doing so – could actually be located, when an investigation was carried out.

The French Court of Auditors also reported on Algeria’s strange proportion of pensioners who were 100 years of age or over with a number of anomalies, massive and documented, found in the payment of French retirement pensions to deceased individuals. This observation fueled speculation that a well-established system in Algeria of defrauding the French pension fund was in place for some time, probably with the complicity of local elected officials in that country.

Several French MPs from all sides are calling for stronger controls in Algeria, where the largest proportion of French pensions abroad (38%) is paid. New controls are likely to be proposed as the present ones – involving so-called ‘certificates of existence’ – which are sent regularly to families, must  be approved by the local authorities whose officials are responsible for falsifying them in return for bribes.



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