In July 2019, Jean-Paul Delevoye, the High
Commissioner appointed by the French government, presented his ideas for a
comprehensive reform of the French pension system. The work is entitled ‘Système
de retraite universel’. It unifies the 42 existing pension systems and merges
the various administrations.
At the heart of the reform is an actual
increase in the retirement age. In future, the full pension, free of
deductions, will only be paid at age 64 and no longer at age 62. Earlier
retirement would still be possible, but would be penalised with a deduction of
5% per year brought forward; delaying retirement would be rewarded with supplementary
One particular concern is the elimination
of the gender pension gap, which currently stands at 42%. In order to reduce
this, periods spent raising a child are to be rated significantly higher in the
future than in the past.
An important aim of the reform is to have a
strong social component, which specifically moves from longer, more stable
careers in the labour force to shorter, more discontinuous ones. This would
reduce the pension gap between the ‘vulnerable’ and the ‘wealthy’.
The French President now wants to achieve
broad social consensus for the current plans. Agnes Buzyn, Minister of Solidarity
and Health, has announced a wide-ranging consultation to be launched in
October. The government will then
present its reform project.
The unions in particular are expected to
resist the actual increase in retirement age. The plans for a comprehensive
reform have already been delayed by a year. French experts see this as being
closely linked to the yellow vest protests and the upcoming local elections in
March 2020, which have made the President more cautious.
The report ‘Pour
un système universel de retraite’ by High Commissioner Jean-Paul Delevoye
also contains valuable information on the benefits of the current pension
Further information on the report’s content,
including a partial comparison with aspects of the German statutory pension
system, can be found on our website as a background information.