the legal retirement age is 64 years, the “preferred scenario” by the government

Departure age, special schemes, senior employment, long and arduous career… Here are the preferred paths and reform hot spots before the final arbitration and text presentation by Élisabeth Borne and the government on Tuesday.

The government is preparing to unveil its pension reforms on Tuesday, January 10. The text will be reviewed by the Council of Ministers on January 23 but the unions, which meet on Tuesday evening, plan to mobilize before this date, while on the left the Nupes hold meetings on January 10 and 17 and the LFI demonstrates at 21.

The bill must be passed in committee in the National Assembly from Jan. 30, and in a hemicycle on Feb. 6, for two weeks, according to parliamentary sources. “Élisabeth Borne will consult again this Sunday and meet with ministers regarding reform. The final points of the wedging and final arbitration will be discussed”, explained one of the Prime Minister’s entourage.

To several days of pension reform presentations, the report of the COR (Retirement Guidance Council) published last September is held up in every way for the government like those who oppose this reform. This report predicts that the pension system in the more or less long term will exhibit deficits that do not threaten its sustainability. Is there really any urgency to reform pensions?

• Starting age

This is an emblematic measure of the government’s project, which is supposed to fill the imbalances of the pension system in the future and was unanimously criticized: the gradual increase of the legal retirement age by two or three years, that is, up to 64 or 65 years.

According to a concordant source interviewed by BFMTV, confirming information from Opinionthe path of delaying the starting age to 64 years, with a decrease at a rate of three months per year, is the government’s “preferred hypothesis”.

People born in 1968 will be the first to retire at 64 in 2032. While people born in the second half of 1961 (who turns 62 this year) will see their retirement age pushed back by 3 months. In 2027, the retirement age will be a little over 63 years … contrary to what the Head of State guaranteed in France 2.

Emmanuel Macron had hoped during his presidential campaign that the legal age of departure would be pushed back by four months a year to 65 years in 2031, an increase that could start on October 1, 2023.

But other options are being considered, in particular a mixed formula of delaying the retirement age (e.g. to 64, as the Senate wants, with an increase of three months a year) coupled with accelerated extension of the contribution period.

This would then increase to 43 years (172 quarters) before the 2035 horizon set by the 2014 Touraine reform, thanks to an increase in the minimum contribution period by a quarter every two years, or even annually.

Executives have vowed not to go beyond the 43 annuities required to get the full rate. In addition, the delay in legal age will not affect the discount cancellation age, which will remain 67 years. Thus women, whose careers are cut short more often, would get full retirement at the same age as they are today, the government said.

The government will also be prepared to increase, during the parliamentary debate, the minimum pension to 1,200 euros for all retirees and not just newcomers.

• Special diets

At RATP as with the electricity and gas companies, a special regime will be closed to newcomers, as was already the case at SNCF. And these professions, as well as railway workers and civil servants (including those that belong to the active category), also had to leave two or three years later than today. The prospect of announcing strong mobilization in the camps of this union.

However, increasing the retirement age may start a little later in this particular scheme, as Woerth’s 2010 reforms, which raised it by two years, won’t be fully effective there until 2024.

• Senior work

While unions protest against delaying the retirement age, citing too few seniors with jobs (35.5% of 60-64 year-olds, end of 2021), the government recognizes that successful reforms involve eventual job retention. career.

To do this, it stipulates that residency carried out in the framework of work accumulation and pensions are now counted for retirement, but also access to gradual retirement is facilitated and open to civil servants.

The executive also intends to prevent the resumption of activities resulting, for seniors, loss of remuneration. To this end, the government is considering bonuses that could appear as part of the unemployment insurance scheme implemented on January 1, 2024.

Finally, the government wants to create a senior index that is negotiated in every branch and published by companies with more than 50 employees, with penalties for those who do not fulfill this publicity obligation. This option aroused hostility from employers.

• Long and difficult career

Under social justice measures, executives plan to raise Smic’s minimum pension to 85% for full careers: unions are demanding that the measure also concern current retirees, and not just newcomers.

The government also wants to allow those who start work at a young age to leave earlier. Departure will always be two years anticipated for those who have passed five quarters before the age of 20, and can be four years for those who have accumulated ten.

In terms of difficulty, reform could take on certain criteria abandoned in 2017 but favored by unions: heavy carrying, painful postures and mechanical vibrations.

Finally, the creation of retraining leave for professional prevention (C2P) account beneficiaries is being studied, as well as the establishment of a fund for professional wear prevention for professions identified as difficult.

• Opposition and Trade Union Proposals

“If Emmanuel Macron wants to make her the mother of reforms (…) for us it will be the mother of battles”, warned FO boss Frédéric Souillot, opposed to these reforms like all trade union organizations and most others. object.

The stumbling block remains a measure of age. More than two thirds of French people (68%) oppose a delay to 64, according to an Ifop-Fiducial poll.

“There will be no deal with the CFDT” if the legal age is delayed and “we will do everything to get the government to step down”, warned its leader Laurent Berger who conceded that even if they disagreed, the Prime Minister was “listening” to the decision. union and that “someone serious”, who “works”.

The CFDT has a proposal to increase the senior employment rate which will make up for the deficit. All unions maintained an increase in employer contributions, a line also mentioned by the High Commissioner for Planning François Bayrou, but dismissed by the executive.

CGT boss Philippe Martinez was ironic about the executive “feat” of uniting the union for the first time in twelve years.

Unions argue that there are other sources of funding, starting with jobs. Official projections prove this: depending on whether the unemployment rate will be 4.5% (i.e. full employment targeted by executives) or the current 7%, the deficit will vary from 13.5 to 19.5 billion by the end of the decade.

Better job rates for seniors would “address some of the problem”, according to number two from Unsa Dominique Corona. Adding the 56% of currently active 55-64 year olds “10% to 15% of additional seniors working, 10 billion returning”, emphasized CFTC chairman Cyril Chabanier.

To further increase manna, CGT claims “professional equality between women and men”, just as Solidaires ensured that it “will generate 14 billion in pension funds”.

Alexis Cuvillier and Pascal Samama with AFP

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