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What is a French Assurance Vie

People sitting at a terraced cafe in France

We talk to Paul Flintham, an International Financial Advisor at Beacon Global Wealth about the Assurance Vie…

Well, literally translated it means Life Insurance. However, it actually is quite different from the life insurance policy you might be used to in say the UK. An Assurance Vie is essentially a life insurance wrapper that holds investments. It’s available to French tax residents, including foreign nationals living in France. And as well as offering inheritance advantages, it’s one of the most versatile and efficient tax structures in France.

Key points of an Assurance Vie (AV)


Investments held within the wrapper are not subject to capital gains tax or income tax while the funds stay inside the policy and no withdrawals are made. You can withdraw capital tax-free. Only the growth element of any withdrawal is subject to tax. You must declare the growth every year you on your annual tax form, but no tax is paid unless you make a withdrawal. Even then the tax is only paid on the ‘growth’ part. And, after 8 years, there is an income-tax-free allowance of €4,600 per person (Social Tax is still payable). You can hold an AV in joint names, meaning an allowance of €9,200 per couple (tax is paid by couples in France).


Assets within an Assurance Vie may be dispersed as you wish on death, and there are tax advantages for beneficiaries. If you open the AV before you reach 70, beneficiaries of an AV have an (extra) allowance of up to €152,500 each before tax. Compared to €1594 which is the normal allowance for non-relatives (this also includes unmarried partners in France). Although if you open the AV after you’re 70, the allowance drops to €30,500 per person.

Currency savings

International AV versions can hold different currencies. This is useful if the foreign exchange rate isn’t favourable, and you have assets in different currencies.

Savings and tax

If you are resident in France but hold Peps or Isas in the UK and – you will have to declare & pay tax on their growth annually. You can transfer the cash/holdings to your AV and not pay tax (until a withdrawal).

This is a simple view of how an Assurance Vie works. But for many people this is an excellent investment vehicle for tax savings and for inheritance planning.

If you’d like to find out more or have questions about how to maximise your investments, contact Beacon Global Wealth for an obligation free consultation at: enquiries@bgwealthmanagement.net


The information on this page is intended as an introduction only and is not designed to offer solutions or advice. Beacon Global Wealth Management can accept no responsibility whatsoever for losses incurred by acting on the information on this page.

Beacon Global Wealth Management are members of Nexus Global (IFA Network). Nexus Global EU is a division of Blacktower Financial Management (Cyprus) Limited (BFMCL) and Blacktower Insurance Agents & Advisors Ltd (BIAAL).  Beacon Global Wealth Management is an Appointed Representative of BFMCL which is licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (CySEC) – Licence No. 386/20. Beacon Global Wealth Management is an Appointed Representative of BIAAL which is licensed and regulated by the Insurance Companies Control Service (ICCS) – Licence No. 5101

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