Business owners in France: RSI to be dissolved on 1 January 2018

By Valérie Aston on 28 June 2017 · Viewed 14340 times · Questions

Regime Social des Indépendants (RSI), the body collecting and handling social charges for artisans and commerçants in France will be dissolved on 1 January 2018. This will affect business owners in France carrying manual activities, trade, industry and tourism.

It will not impact professions libérales, which already relate to URSSAF. The level of social contribution for business owners will remain the same and lower than that of employees in the private sector.

RSI to be dissolved on 1 January 2018

The RSI will be over soon. On 1 January 2018, the social security scheme for the self-employed will be incorporated into the general scheme, which provides for the employees of the private sector.

Craftsmen artisans, merchants commerçants and professions libérales will certainly benefit from a specific department within sécurite sociale, but the current operator of their regime will disappear as confirmed by Conseil des Ministres on 31 May 2017. This measure will be voted in the Social Security financing bill loi de finance in the autumn.

It is a tight schedule for a big reform, as Sécurité Sociale will have to take over all the accounts from existing businesses. National administrators of the RSI denounced the "contempt" of the government that did not receive them and wants to suppress their regime in a "forced march". The dissolution of RSI was one of the proposals made by Emmanuel Macron for the presidential election.

RSI was created in 2008 by the legislators, in order to have a single body handling social charges for business owners in France. In practice, this was done in a haste before the organisation was ready, which led to an IT system and human disaster. This tarnished RSI’s reputation from its first years and especially between 2008 and 2011. The question for many is - Is it not possible to make the same mistake again by removing RSI in six months?

Consequences of RSI's dissolution for business owners in France?

Will the dissolution of RSI lead to mayhem? It is possible. However, the task is not as important as it seems.

Firstly, because the social contributions for the self-employed will not be aligned with that of private employees, which would make them jump by more than 50%! It is important to emphasise that the social charges rates will not change for business owners. There will also be no change in the benefits, which differ from those of employees, for example for the daily sickness or disability allowances.

Secondly, only craftsmen and traders will have a new body. For the professions libérales, the reform will be invisible. They are only affiliated to RSI for health insurance, since they have their own pension funds (CIPAV). The RSI only pays them health benefits, which are the same in all regimes. 

What are the benefits of RSI's dissolution for the self-employed?

What will happen to RSI’s thirteen regional branches? They will a priori be absorbed and divided among the various branches of the Social Security and could specialise in money recovery (URSSAF), health (CPAM) or retirement (Carsat). RSI's employees should be taken over by the régime général. Some changes could be spread over 2018.

The reform should result in advantages for the self-employed. Especially avoiding erratic recovery procedures. Since January, URSSAF and RSI have created a joint service to manage debt collection, as the sharing of responsibilities worked badly before. But the collectors of the two bodies do not have the same managers, the same premises or the same software. The helpline staff and those handling the cases do not necessarily know each other. Bringing everyone into the same network should provide a better quality of service and less errors.

Valerie Lemiere: Start Business in France

About the author: Valérie Aston

I've been helping people who want to start or already have a small business set up in France since 2009. After graduating from a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, I worked as a senior marketing consultant in the UK and France for various International companies. I worked as a conseillère en création d'entreprises (senior business advisor) for BGE here in France and run this independent business on a daily basis.