key points that will change the lives of French people
FOCUS – Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne announced the government’s plans on retirement on Tuesday. Le Figaro discusses the main elements of reform.
After failing, under his first five-year term, to carry out “systemic” reforms that overturned the structure of the system in the name of a societal vision, Emmanuel Macron has this time returned to more classical reforms, called “parametric” basically aimed at austerity.
It centers on a major measure, raising the retirement age, which generates an additional 10 billion euros a year, and is accompanied by spending on social support measures. Less ambitious, but easier to read for France than the reforms scrapped in 2019, it aims to respond to the financial urgency of the pension deficit. Back to the key points that will change the lives of French people, born from the second half of 1961.
● Increased retirement age: 64 years and accelerated contribution period
The central subject of the reform, the legal age of departure, increased from 60 to 62 in 2010 (Woerth reforms), will again be raised gradually, even if all unions unanimously oppose it and make it a “red line”. The Head of State has mentioned two paths: 65 years or 64 years with acceleration of the contribution period, which will increase to 43 years (172 quarters) before the 2035 horizon set by the Touraine reform.
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This second option appears to have prevailed in the latest arbitration, under pressure from the LR and majority deputies. The contribution period, which increases by one quarter every three years, can increase to one more quarter every two years, or even every year. On the other hand, there is no question of going beyond 43 years of contribution, Elisabeth Borne said last week. The age at which the discount can be canceled will also not change, which is 67 years.
● Minimum pension of 1,200 euros: for new retirees and possibly old retirees
Today, a person who has worked all his life for a meager salary has a pension barely higher than a person who has done nothing and receives a solidarity allowance for elderly Aspa (ex-minimum age). To widen the gap between the two and promote employment, the President of the Republic has promised to raise the minimum pension for a full career to 1,200 euros per month.
Executives are thinking about ordering this measure for new retirees (the “flow” of the insured). But the right and some Renaissance deputies wanted to extend it to retired people (“stocks”). However, this generosity comes at a significant cost, borne by other policyholders: it costs 2.5 billion annually if we include “shares”, versus 500 million if we limit ourselves to “flows”. Elisabeth Borne promised that a debate on this issue would take place in the Assembly.
● Long and difficult career
Founded in 2003, driven by CFDT, expanded under the Dutch five-year term, the “long career” system allows policyholders who started work before the age of 20 to leave two years early, provided they meet a certain number of quarters. Currently, 20% of retirement is exercised through this device, which was described as “expensive” by the Court of Auditors, mainly because the trade in question is not necessarily painful.
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In addition, beneficiaries have longer retirement lives: 27 years and 3 months for long career departures, compared to just under 25 years for the rest of the population, for the 1960s generation. The system should be reviewed, with a different valve: 5 working terms before the age of 16 will allow you to leave 6 years earlier; before 18 years, 4 years before and before 20 years, 2 years before.
● Special diets
Only three minor special regimes should not be affected by the reforms: the Paris Opera, the Comédie-Française, and the Fishermen, for very specific reasons of commerce. On the other hand, at RATP, as with electricians and gas companies, a special regime will be closed to newcomers, as was already the case at SNCF. This is the famous “grandfather clause”. Other employees will not escape the age delay: they will certainly continue to leave earlier than others, but will have to work another 2 years if the retirement age is raised to 64 years and another 3 years raised to 65 years. .
However, increasing the retirement age may start a little later in this particular scheme, as Woerth’s 2010 reform, which raised it by two years, will not become fully effective until 2024. Companies that employ these employees must establish a convergence period with other schemes.
In case of difficulty, the reform should increase professional prevention (C2P) accounts without changing the number of criteria. Text should stick to the six 2017 criteria, but lower certain thresholds and consider polyexposure (exposure to several factors at the same time). Creation of retraining leave for professional prevention account beneficiaries is also being studied.
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Finally, the professional branch will be called upon to set up a fund for the prevention of professional wear and tear for professions identified as difficult, actions that can be co-financed by accidents in the occupational disease branch, which have advantages. Early departure for professional wear and tear should be done individually and not collectively, and requires medical advice.
● Hiring seniors
While too few seniors have jobs (35.5% of 60-64 year olds by the end of 2021), the government recognizes that the success of reforms hinges on retaining jobs at the end of their careers. To do this, it stipulates that residences 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, a “senior index”, which is negotiated in each branch, must be issued by companies with more than 50 employees, accompanied by a penalty for those who do not fulfill this obligation.
● Family rights
Sensitive subjects of survivor pensions, housing for children, etc., should not appear in the text and should be postponed. However, quarters may be allocated to beneficiaries of old-age insurance for stay-at-home (AVPF) insurance.
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