Who benefits from special diets?

RATP, Banque de France, SNCF, Opéra de Paris… Certain professions or companies benefit from special pension schemes.

The official start of the pension reform. The government presented pension system reforms on Tuesday. In addition to the postponement of the retirement age to 64 years, certain special pension schemes have also come under the attention of executives. But in concrete terms, what is a special diet and who is benefiting from it today?

• What is a special diet?

Social Security is organized into “four blocks”. The general scheme (private sector workers and self-employed workers) includes a large proportion of French workers, to which is added the agricultural scheme and the scheme for non-self-employed and non-agricultural workers (artisans, traders, liberal professions, etc.). There remain “special schemes” tied to a particular profession or to a particular enterprise: this category includes schemes that existed before the creation of Social Security in 1946 and are maintained to the present.

Simply put: the rules when it comes to Social Security are not the same for people who depend on this particular scheme. While some schemes also cover health or work injury insurance, most are aimed at retirement. Most often, the main advantage for their beneficiaries lies in retiring before the legal age. Some also offer shorter contribution periods to secure full retirement. But there are no generalizations: each special diet has its own set of conditions.

• Who benefits from this special regime?

In practice, there is actually no clear definition: there are civil servants, employees of public companies or former public companies, but there are also employees of certain private branches such as notaries or mining. The Labor Code recognizes ten specific regimes; Commission on Social Security Accounts, lists much more: by integrating civil servants into the list, we go up to 27 special regimes. In a broad sense, there are more than 5 million direct retirees.

Actually, if we talk about the ten specific pension schemes recognized by the Labor Code, we find RATP and SNCF, the electricity and gas industry (EDF, Engie, RTE, Enedis, etc.), seafarers, minors, clerks and employees notary, Banque de France, Paris Opera, Comédie-Française and Autonomous Port of Strasbourg. To which can be added civil servants, civil servants and soldiers (FPE), territorial civil servants and hospitals (FPT-FPH) as well as ministers of religion (clergy, among others).

But be careful: not all employees in this branch or company are affected by this particular scheme. At RATP, for example, the special pension scheme applies only to authorized agents and not to employees on permanent contracts under private law; moreover, early retirement only concerns certain categories of personnel, such as drivers or station agents. On the SNCF side, new railroad workers can no longer claim early retirement.

• What are the conditions for retirement?

Each specific scheme operates according to its own rules, but retirement generally occurs before the age of 60. The average retirement age is 60 years for employees in the electricity and gas industry, 56.81 years in RATP, 61 years and 9 months in Banque de France and 48 years for dancers of the Paris Opera. The contribution period is also sometimes shorter: a full pension requires 168 quarters in RATP, compared to 172 quarters in the general scheme. The retirement pension calculation method may also be more profitable.

But this advantage has sometimes faded over time, as certain special regimes have begun rapprochement with the general regime. The retirement age at RATP, for example, has been raised from generation to generation: all employees born after 1962 will retire at 62 years of age. In addition, the number of special schemes continued to dwindle – there were over a hundred in 1945. Some would automatically cease when the last beneficiary disappeared, such as former employees of Seita, the former public company in charge of tobacco production.

Jeremy Bruno BFMTV journalist

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