Life insurance or PER, which is the best savings product for your retirement?

This is the fashionable savings product. The retirement savings plan (PER), launched in October 2019, is panicking the counters. At the end of June 2022, no less than 70 billion euros had been placed in this envelope, a jackpot distributed among just over six million subscribers. Twice as much as the initial objective set by Bercy for the end of 2022. And this success, the PER does not owe it to the government’s – massive – communication on this product alone. The reasons for this “cardboard” are mainly to be found on the side of the advantages offered by the retirement savings plan. Because if there remains a “tunnel” product, on which the capital is blocked until retirement – except in exceptional cases -, it is much more flexible than its predecessors.

>> Our service – Compare the performance of retirement savings plans (PER) with our simulator

“The retirement savings plan has been very successful, in part because the sums are available once you have retired,” explains Gilles Belloir, managing director of placement-direct.fr, an online broker specializing in retirement savings (life insurance, PER). A release – full – in capital which was simply impossible with its predecessors, such as Perp or Madelin, contracts on which “the exit in life annuity was a foil”, continues the first guest of the “Grand rendez-vous de l’ ‘savings’ (Capital / Radio Patrimoine). Consequence: the transfers of old retirement contracts are legion. In fact, they represent almost 80% of the total outstanding amount of PERs. “Many of our customers had old products: an old Perp, an old article 83 (…). They transferred them to our PER and now pay into it every year”, confirms Edouard Petitdidier, founding partner of the Family Office Allure Finance and second guest on the show.

Optimized taxation

The flexibility of the PER, which also allows early release for the purchase of the main residence, is not the only reason for its success. How, indeed, not to mention the taxation on this product, advantageous in many respects! “The sums paid into your PER are deducted from your taxable income, which generates a tax reduction equal to the product of the amount you pay multiplied by your marginal tax rate”, explains Gilles Belloir. An asset that also allows to optimize, each year, its taxation by adjusting its payments according to the tax rate of the subscriber: “We look at the tax rate of the client and, according to this bracket, we decide with him how much he can put in his PER”, appreciates Edouard Petitdidier. And, icing on the cake, even if income tax must be paid upon exit (retirement), the holder of the plan takes full advantage of free leverage. “A client taxed at 41% who places 100 euros in his PER actually only puts 59 euros there. Until his retirement, he will benefit from an incredible leverage effect (on the balance of 41 euros which produces interest, editor’s note)”, gives the specialist as an example.

Not enough to make life insurance outdated, however, which remains, according to Edouard Petitdidier, “an exceptional support, both in terms of taxation and inheritance rights”.

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Performances at the rendezvous in 2021

Impossible, obviously, to judge the interest of an investment without addressing its performance. Again, all the lights are green for the PER. And this, for several reasons, including floor costs, according to Gilles Belloir.On older generations of retirement contracts, it was easy to find payment fees of around 5%. Today, we can say that it no longer exists, or almost no longer exists on the market”, he rejoices.

Add to these costs reduced by buoyant markets last year, and you get an excellent 2021 vintage. This is also the subject of our “report”, in which Ludovic Herschlikovitz, founder of retirement.com, presents the time-based management – the default management mode for a PER. As you will see in this sequence, the best of them exceeded 20% last year, both in retirement savings plans and in life insurance. The downturn in the markets obliges, the 2022 financial year will be much less encouraging for these two envelopes… Conversely, Private Equity (unlisted) and structured products should allow certain savers who are less risk averse to do well of the game and “not to lose too much in 2022”, hopes Edouard Petitdidier.

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Succession benefits, too

Last element addressed by our guests: the estate. “Taxation seems less attractive on a PER”, suggests Gilles Belloir, the abatement regime in place being obviously less favourable. But he recalls that in the event of death, the surviving spouse benefits from unbeatable taxation since the capital invested – and therefore exempt from tax during the payments – will never be taxed, the succession between spouses not being taxed. “As such, the PER is extremely effective for the protection of the surviving spouse”, slips the general manager of placement-direct.fr.

It is therefore up to you to take all of these criteria into account to make the right choices and finance your retirement with peace of mind. And do not trust your tax rate alone, insists Edouard Petitdidier: “You may not have a large sum to block each year on your plan. Be careful, because you have to keep enough money to live,” he warns. On a PER, you should only invest what you do not need immediately. And if the availability of your savings is a priority, it is life insurance that must be approved.

>> Our service – Test our life insurance comparator

Pierre Sabatier’s “Coup de coeur / rant”

Like every month, the economist Pierre Sabatier assigns his good and bad points in the “Coup de coeur/coup de gueule” section. The founding president of the PrimeView firm first of all salutes the “amazing resilience of our companies”, despite the degraded context they are facing. While caution remains in order, our columnist appreciates that their recent earnings releases meet analysts’ expectations. Expectations, moreover, extremely high. Under these conditions, selectivity is more important than ever, he recalls.

The rant comes back to Chinese stocks, whose descent into hell never seems to want to stop. Judge for yourself: “-32% since the start of the year, -62% since February 2021”, laments Pierre Sabatier, for whom “the almost alter ego of the American economy is not yet credible enough to equity investors”.

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The answers of the experts in the section “It concerns you”

In the final part of our program, you will find the answers to your questions, in the sequence “It concerns you”. Nathalie Couzigou-Suhas, notary in Paris, enlightens a reader who wants to disinherit one of her daughters by using her life insurance contract. Charlotte Thameur, advisory director at Yomoni, details the risks to which you expose yourself by investing in an SME through a mutual fund for investment in innovation (FCPI). Finally, Stéphane Absolu, associate director at Pyxis Conseil, helps a reader who wants to sell his father’s home to finance his entry into a retirement home and wishes to know the conditions to be met in order to benefit from an exemption on the capital gain.

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