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N° de pourvoi : 99-20420 , Cour de Cassation, Chambre sociale, May 11, 2001 (Publication : Bulletin 2001 V N° 163 p. 129)

Facts: the plaintiff was Mme Degouys, a French national who worked in France as a midwife and was retired. The governmental agencies in charge of the financing of midwives' pensions (« la Caisse autonome de retraite des sages-femmes françaises »), refused to take into account certain periods of the plaintiff's work in the calculation of her pension, on the ground that she paid her contributions for those periods five years after they were due. She claimed a violation of her right to property guaranteed by article 1 of the European Convention and claimed that she could not be deprived of her property because of public utility.

Procedure: the Cour d'Appel of Grenoble rejected the claim of the plaintiff on September 6, 1999. She appealed to the Cour de Cassation.

Holding: the Cour de Cassation overruled the judgment below and ruled that the refusal violated the right to property of the plaintiff.

Reasoning: every individual has the right to respect of her property and cannot be deprived of her property for public utility reasons. The late payment of retirement contributions can result in penalties but cannot result in the deprivation of the right to receive an allocation without violating articles 1 and 14 (non discrimination) of the European Convention. Mme Degouys paid her retirement contributions, even lately, after the set deadline. However, a retirement regimen by repartition that prescribes that the contributions paid five years after the deadline would nto be taken into account to calculate the pension does not violate article 1 of the European Convention. Moreover, a social security regimen providing a pension that varies given the profession of the pensioner does not constitute a discrimination as long as pensioners with the same profession all receive the same pension.

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