French savings and retirement association

The French Savings and Retirement Association ( Afer ) is an association of savers. In 2015, it has 730,000 members representing 51 billion euros of managed savings . The Afer aims to allow its members to build savings in the best financial and legal conditions possible. In the 2000s , however, two of its founding leaders were sentenced for misappropriations in the 1980s and 1990s, to the detriment of the members, which led to the setting up of a new management team. Since November 2007, its president is Gérard Bekerman: his stay in the presidency has reintroduced a stability, which was lacking in the years following the departure of the founders.


The initial idea is to create an association of insureds and to subscribe on its behalf a contract, negotiating rates, with an insurance company, with minimal management fees. This idea is from Gerard Athias. He has about twenty years of experience in insurance, when he is unemployed. He decides to launch this project. He is associated with André Le Saux, a polytechnician , with managerial experience 1 , 2 .

An insurance company agrees to be their operator and manage the funds collected by this association saver, it is the company La Paix , which then merges with Abeille Assurances , a company founded in 1854 by farmers Burgundy. This insurance company, however, imposes on Gérard Athias and André Le Saux the presence of three of its executives in the team that founds the association: Pierre Charpenel, Jean-Claude Lasserre and Claude Gallet 1 , 2 .

On June 16, 1976, the Afer was created by these five founding members 1 , 2 .

The Association modifies by its choices the life insurance market which, in the 1980s, remains hampered by numerous obstacles. The leaders of the association have the idea to end the lack of freedom in payments by opposing so-called “periodic” contracts, and also to end the lack of freedom in withdrawals. The Afer also waives the commission fees paid to insurance intermediaries. Finally, it sets management fees among the lowest in the market. These choices are decisive and constitute the basis of the success of the association 3. The Afer from 300 members in 1977 to tens of thousands in the early 1980s, and the movement continues to accelerate in the following decades. In the early 1980s, two of the founders of the Afer, Pierre Charpenel and Jean-Claude Lasserre, leave the Afer. Some time later, Claude Gallet leaves in turn 2 .

At the end of the 1980s , the Afer contract was a market benchmark and forced competition to adopt the same principles of flexibility and profitability. Gérard Athias and André Le Saux are now entering a logic of profit-taking. At the end of 1986, in agreement with the company L’Abeille, they created a brokerage firm, SNC Sinafer, which was backed by another joint venture, the SEP Sinafer, which they hold at 90% and through which a percentage passes entrance fees taken from the contracts, paid to the two founders. But no information is given to the members of this financial package that will allow Gerard Athias and André Le Saux to earn personal income several hundred million francs 2. The discovery and assembly of these payments, over ten years later, in 1998, a scandal 1 .

Adherents form another association, SOS-AFER Principles, to defend their rights and to lodge a complaint, for misappropriation of funds, against the two founders. In 2000, Gérard Athias and André Le Saux are indicted. Gerard Athias resigns from the presidency of the Afer a year later 4 . The management team of Afer is renewed and takes a few years to stabilize. Gerard Bekerman, however, succeeds 5 . He has been its president since November 2007 and has created a charter of transparency and a committee of wise men on his arrival to ensure respect for the code of ethics. It strives to return to the initial values ​​of the association, and to highlight the results of the association,

After multiple legal episodes, former leaders and founders, Gérard Athias and André Le Saux are sentenced in 2006, a conviction confirmed by a judgment of the Court of Cassation in 2009 7 , 8 .


The Afer contract is distributed by insurance agents, agents of the Aviva Company , a British company that has absorbed the French company Abeille Assurances , and by brokers, agents of their customers. The contract is managed by GIE Afer on a joint basis between Aviva and the Afer Association. This GIE (economic interest group) is chaired by the president of the association, Gérard Bekerman, since 2007. Without presenting insurance intermediation, GIE Afer performs the day-to-day management tasks: legal, death, beneficiary clauses , marketing, communication, press, audit, accounting, receivability, computer science, actuarial science. He is the logistical support of the Association.

The governance of the Association revolves around several main organs:

  • The Board of Directors, made up of 10 directors elected by members who can vote at general meetings, sometimes more agitated meetings since the judicial episodes of the 1990s and 2000s 9 ,
  • The Comité des Sages, a structure set up in 2008 6 , composed of independent personalities and asked by the board of directors to inform, by its opinions, on any subject of governance of the Association.
  • The Advisory Committee, a link between the membership base and the board of directors; it is made up of some twenty volunteer members and aims to enlighten the board of directors on its choices.
  • The Committee for the Control and Supervision of Money Management (CCSGF), chaired by the President of the Association.
  • The Committee for the Control of Votes in General Assembly (CCVAG), composed of four members and responsible for the regularity of the convocations in General Assembly.

Notes and references

  1. ↑ a , b , c and d Gilles Lockhart, ” The underside of a funny Afer “, The Expansion , ( read online ) [ archive ]
  2. ↑ a , b , c , d and e Laurence Delain, ” Man of Afer ,” Le Monde , ( read online ) [ archive ]
  3. ↑ ” Analysis of the life insurance contract Afer ” , on News Insurance [ archive ]
  4. ↑ ” The founders of the Afer before justice. Chronology “, The World , ( read online ) [ archive ]
  5. ↑ Géraldine Bruguière-Fontenille, ” 40 years of Afer ” Argus Insurance , ( read online ) [ archive ]
  6. ↑ a and b Jean-Claude Bourbonn, ” Gerard Bekerman continues his mission at the head of the Afer. Gérard Bekerman, president of Afer “, La Croix , ( read online ) [ archive ]
  7. ↑ GM, ” Gérard Athias and André Le Saux has not found favor with the court ,” Les Echos , ( read online ) [ archive ]
  8. ↑ Anne Michel, ” Justice confirmed the sentencing of two former leaders of the Afer ,” Le Monde , ( read online ) [ archive ]
  9. ↑ Eric Leroux, ” From the rififi to Afer savers association “, Le Monde , ( read online ) [ archive ]

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