Here are a few important steps regarding taxes and benefits.

1. Get a tax account 🏦

You are an employee of CEA, which means that you have to declare your annual income and pay taxes.
To do this, you need to create an account at the tax office. You will get a tax account number (numéro fiscal) that will come in handy when you need to declare your annual income (in May each year).

To get this number, you simply need to send an e-mail to stating that you need to open an account and to get a “numéro fiscal”.

2. Economical support from CAF: “Prime d’activité” 💲

You are probably eligible to receive a benefit called “Prime d’activité” aimed at modest salaries in France.
To collect this benefit, go on the CAF website, select “Mes services en ligne” and then “Faire une demande de prestation”.
If you already have an account, just click on “Vous êtes allocataire”; if not, pick “Vous n’êtes pas allocataire” and create your account.
Once you’re connected, click on “Le RSA et la prime d’activité”, then “La prime d’activité” and finally “Faire la demande”. Follow the instructions on the CAF website and wait for the money!

3. Open a “Plan d’épargne entreprise”

One of the benefits offered by CEA is the PEE, which is a special savings account with a participation from CEA : based on how much you deposit on this account, CEA will add up to 700€ per year!

What’s a PEE again ?

The “Plan d’Epargne d’Entreprise” (PEE) is a special savings account backed by CEA. This savings account is very interesting for two main reasons:

  • “Abondement”: When you transfer money on your PEE, CEA will add money on top of that. For instance, if you add 1000€, the abondement will be 400€ (which is a very nice rate if you ask me). Abondement is limited to 700€ per year.
  • “Intéressement”: Each year around May (July in Covid-2020), if you have been an employee for more than 3 months, you receive a bonus based on how well CEA did the previous year. You have to choose between getting this amount of money right away or putting it on your PEE.
    We highly advise you to put it on your PEE, because this way you won’t pay taxes on it! However if you need the money right now it’s OK, the bonus will be added to you salary in your tax declaration.
  • Apart from these two points, it’s a normal savings account with very low taxes and 6 different funds ranked in risk, with 1 being a low-risk investment and 6 a high-risk one. You decide what amount goes to which fund when you put money on your PEE.

But my money is locked for a certain time, right?

The money put on your PEE is locked for five years. However, there are a lot of goods reasons to unlock it, that are all listed in this document. Among them is the end of your contract at CEA, which means that you will have your money ‘back’ at the end of your PhD. It’s not going anywhere!

Alright, I’m all in, where do I sign?

Everything is on this document that you need to fill and send with a check to the address (minimum amount 40€) written at the bottom.
You will then receive your login and password in the mail. After this, you can manage this account online and use wire transfers to add money to your PEE.

You can’t put more than 25% of your annual salary on this account.

Here are some questions and answers (in French).

3. Get in touch with ACAS 🌴

ACAS is part of the benefits offered by CEA. This association can in particular refund you for a part of your plane tickets when you go abroad. It also offers trips at a very reasonable price.
All the advantages will be explained to you by or