INTERVIEW. Retirement at 55 for workers, 65 for executives: vice proposal

Should workers and employees be allowed to retire before executives? This proposal as opposed to the government project comes from a note from the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, co-signed by Louis-Samuel Pilcer, lecturer in economics at Sciences Po, Vincent Verbavatz, engineer from Bridges, Waters and Forests, Riwan Yahmi, professor of economics and management, and Philippe Brun, PS representative for Eure.

The latter agreed to answer questions fromWest France and detailing their proposals.

PS MP Philippe Brun at the National Assembly, 8 November 2022. | THOMAS SAMSON/AFP

You propose retirement at 55 for workers and employees but at 65 for executives, why?

Observations show that the richest French live longer on average. The difference is thirteen years for boys and eight years for girls. A 35-year-old man is twice as likely to die before age 60 if he is a worker than if he is a manager.

In response to this, we’ve decided to bring the question of starting age gap into the debate with the idea that you should leave early when you have a tough job.

Also read: Pension reform: is the 2×8 job considered painful?

Is the social-professional category scale relevant? For example, among employees, there may be widely varying working conditions…

Were there any variations, we wouldn’t have such flashy numbers. Currently, 94% of detected occupational diseases are among employees and workers. However, hardship is only slightly accounted for by the pension system. In addition, workers and employees have the most difficult jobs but are also the most affected by unemployment among the elderly.

An executive’s pension costs two and a half times more than that of an employee.

Is such a proposal financially realistic? Isn’t there a risk of imbalance of the pension system?

What we propose is to get workers and employees to leave early and finance that by making executives leave later. For the 12 billion euros that we have to find for the balance of the system, we have other proposals such as capital taxation contributions with a tax on super profits. And then, there’s the real subject of them not working and therefore not contributing.

In fact, executives often start their careers late and therefore have left about 65?

Yes, it has happened. But financially raising the legal age to 65 for executives would lower it to 55 for workers. Indeed, an executive’s pension costs two and a half times more than an employee’s.

Also read: What impact will the pension reform have on your departure date?

Isn’t the risk of this proposal going into an à la carte pension system?

This note idea first made people react and put the subject on the table. In addition, it may be that the real subject is not of legal age but of residence which differs by profession. There are no executives on the one hand and workers on the other. In his life, a person may have been a worker and then an executive.

Beyond the legal age, what is really needed is to find additional housing when you are already employed and therefore able to retire early. On the other hand, some senior executives who enter the profession without physical difficulty are unwilling to retire. This is, for example, the case of prefects who are limited to 67 years of age but persistently request exemptions to continue working.

We have to find a balance to end this inequality in the face of death, which is unacceptable.

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