Exemption from employer contributions to supplementary schemes: any amendment to these schemes must comply with the formal rules outlined in Article L. 911-1 of the Social Security Code.

Supplementary schemes (such as health and life insurance) that employees benefit from may be set up within the company by unilateral decision of the employer, set in writing by the latter and delivered to each of the employees concerned (L.911-1 of the Social Security Code).

The delivery of this unilateral decision to each and every employee is a condition to the exemption of social security contributions from the employer’s share of contributions to these supplementary schemes.

In a decision of 14 March 2019, the French Supreme Court specified that this condition of exemption not only applies at the setting up stage but also when amending these supplementary schemes.

In this case, the employer had displayed the information to let the employees know of a mere modification of the distribution of contributions between the employer and the employees concerning a health insurance contract.

In the absence of delivery of a unilateral decision to each of the employees acknowledging the modification of the health insurance contract, the French Supreme Court refused to exempt the amounts paid by the employer as a contribution to the scheme.

In practice, it is therefore necessary to provide either a signed distribution list (in case of hand-delivery) or acknowledgement of receipt (in case of postal delivery ) in order to keep the proof of delivery to each of the employees concerned.

2nd civil Chamber, French Supreme Court, 14 March 2019, n°18-12380