Saddling up for the Year of the Horse

In the Chinese Calendar, 2013 was the Year of the Snake.  From the social welfare viewpoint, this year was, if not poisonous, then at least biting.  It is now time to get back into the saddle for 2014 which has already started at a fast pace…

Saddling up for the Year of the Horse

The year 2013 finished as it started: with good news all round ! On 11 January, the National Collective Agreement « for a new economic and social model » standardised supplementary healthcare schemes for all employees. On 19 December, the Constitutional Court retained the right for company bosses to be able to contract with the insurance company of their choice.

In-between these two events, the year could be described as a heavy one : first of all, there was the 25 September Bulletin detailing the implementation of the 9 January 2012 Decree « relating to the compulsory group nature of supplementary social welfare cover » ;  followed by pension reforms, passed on 18 December ; and finally, Article 56 of the PLFSS (funding of social welfare) 2014, which makes provision for the reworking of the contractual conditions for ‘responsible’ contracts. So much wording, which will mean companies having to go through their all their group contracts with a fine toothcomb.

In order to support you during this difficult period, we have provided an online questionnaire which will enable you to work out if your group contracts for healthcare, pensions and retirement are « compatible with URSSAF » : with a few questions, you will be able to check if your schemes comply with the rules and do not require you to make any adjustments…

Much better in fact to make sure it’s worthwhile before tackling 2014, a year which is in danger of being just as full of emotion. The definition which will be applied to new ‘responsible’ contracts has in fact every chance of bringing radical changes to the supplementary healthcare marketplace, with a move towards lowering the levels of cover. There is little doubt that, confronted with the rise in the « excess » for employees, they will be offered enhanced supplementary cover.

This will have a profound effect on the social strategy of your companies : the greater the restrictions placed on the definition of ‘responsible’ contracts, the greater the restriction on negotiations with social partners. Now, you have a vested interest in keeping control of social welfare, which remains a positive issue for negotiations with social partners as well as being an important factor in attracting and retaining talent.

In mid-2014, the third Major Social Conference will address the funding of social welfare. The new framework of our healthcare system has already started to unravel, with the possibility of a decline in the second level and the emergence of a third level of enhanced supplementary cover.

More than ever before, it is essential to have an insight into and an analysis of a topic which is particularly intricate and complex. In order to help you with this, Gerep has adopted a digital strategy during the last year with Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, as well as this blog which is dedicated entirely to the subject of social welfare.

This is a way of helping you to jump over the challenges 2014 will bring, not only as the Year of the Horse : it will also be Gerep’s 25th anniversary. Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year !

Damien Vieillard-Baron President of gerep