Auto-Entrepreneurs and state pension

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Can you please direct me to some information that will explain my access/entitlement to the French state pension? As this is my first year of an auto entrepreneur, I know from a previous post that it is possible to opt-out of some charges but that this may limit my entitlement to a ‘year’ of cover. So I want to check a couple of things:

  1. How will I know that I am contributing to the state pension. Is there a minimum revenue amount before it counts as a qualifying year? Do I get any sort of notification that will tell me that I have made contributions and that this will count towards retirement?
  2. How can I be sure that I haven’t opted out of the first year?
  3. I understand the French state pension to be ‘better’ than the UK state pension. I understand that this could change at any time. But generally, do auto entrepreneurs also make alternative pension arrangements? In the UK I understand very well people’s attitudes but because most people I know in France are salaried, I’m unsure of the attitudes of self-employed people.

Thank you, as always.

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