Pension Reform in France for 2023 was recently unveiled and will come into effect on September 1, 2023. It aims to 1) improve social justice and intergenerational solidarity, 2) secure pensions with a better balance, and 3) end differences in treatment from special pension schemes. However, the measures proposed in the project have caused strong disagreement among trade unions and the majority of the population, resulting in over 200 demonstrations held on January 19th and 31st. The inflationist context is also contributing to the opposition to the reform.
The need for French pension reform
• The pension system faces growing deficits
The COR1 predicts that without reform, the pension system will have a deficit by 2023, reaching a total of nearly €150 billion over the next 10 years. The deficits in 2027, 2030, and 2035 are estimated at €12.4 billion, €13.5 billion, and €21.2 billion, respectively.
• The demographic imbalance is a concern
The government forecasts that there will be only 1.4 contributors for every retiree by 2050, compared to 3 contributors per retiree in 1970. This imbalance threatens the sustainability of the system and could lead to a decline in pensions and retirees’ standard of living.
• Low employment rate of seniors in France
Only 33% of 60-64-year-olds are employed in France, compared to 45% in the European Union and 60% in Germany, and 70% in Sweden. Furthermore, the average retirement length in France is longer than in other European countries, with men retiring for 22.2 years and women for 26.7 years.
- Raising the legal retirement age from 62 to 64, starting from September 2023, with an increase of three months per year of birth, reaching the target of 64 years in 2030.
- A required contribution period of 43 years (172 quarters)to receive a full rate pension from 2027, an acceleration from the 2035 schedule set by the Touraine reform of 2014. The age of cancellation of the decree is maintained at 67 years.
- Closure of special pension schemes, with exceptions for autonomous schemes and those with specific constraints. Current employees will benefit from the “grandfather clause” but will be affected by the gradual shift of the statutory age and the acceleration of the insurance period.
- An increase of the minimum pension to €1200 for those who have worked their entire life at the minimum wage.
- Other measures included in the reform Promoting employment of older people with a ‘seniors’ index’ starting this year to measure their proportion in companies. Penalties will be set for non-compliant employers. The threshold for eligible companies will be lowered from 1000 to 300 employees in 2024.
- Strengthening the professional prevention account and creating a fund for the prevention of occupational wear and tear. Cumulative employment-retirement and phased retirement will also be expanded.
Read about the expected effects of the reform and see the summary pension ages on Gerep’s summary sheet covering pension reform in France 2023.
This article is provided by Gerep, Asinta’s employee benefits consulting Partner in France.