next presidential election is due to be held in April 2022. Early March,
Emmanuel Macron officially announced his renewed candidacy. The gossip factory
now ends with the publication of his election manifesto: If re-elected, he
intends to raise the retirement age from 62 to 65.
The French pension insurance system
pension insurance system consists of a basic pension and a statutory
supplementary insurance. The basic pension is based, among other things, on the
average annual income (gross pay) of the 25 best professional years and the
insurance period. The supplementary pension is calculated on the basis of a
points system. There are also around 40 special schemes for specific
occupational groups. As high as 900 euros can also be paid out additionally to
pensioners in the low-income group.
statutory retirement age in France is currently 62 (for those born in 1955 or
later), with some deductions. Depending on other factors, the full pension rate
is received at the age of 67 at the latest. For people who started working very
early and meet the requirements for minimum insurance duration and minimum
insurance contributions, early retirement is possible from the age of 60.
Severely disabled persons (permanently at least 50 per cent) can retire between
the ages of 55 and 59.
French pension system has been facing financial problems for quite some time
now. Overall, the retirement regulations there are considered relatively
generous. Complicating matters further is rising life expectancy: the average
age of the French in 2019 was 83 – the EU average was 81.1.
Pension reform has been planned for a long time
of the financing problems, comprehensive reform of the pension system was
already on the agenda of the current French President, Emmanuel Macron, when he
took office in May 2017. His ideas at the time included raising the retirement
age to 64 and standardising the system by eliminating special regulations. The
reform plans led to massive political opposition and months of strikes during
his tenure. Nevertheless, they were on the verge of being passed in the spring
of 2020 but then suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Reform project in an adapted form
presidential election is coming up in April. At the beginning of March, Macron
officially stood for re-election as head of state and, less than two weeks
later, presented his new election manifesto, which also envisages his plan for
the pension reform. He had already indicated last summer that he would probably
not continue the "very ambitious" project from the time before the
the manifesto for the 2022 election now includes a proposal to gradually raise
the statutory retirement age to 65. Disability, arduous activities and length
of qualifying service should be taken into account. Furthermore, it is planned
to abolish the special systems in certain occupational groups, at least for new
entrants. In return, the minimum pension will be increased from 1,000 to 1,100
euros when a full pension is drawn. Further tax relief is also planned.
Target: Full employment in France
to the election manifesto, these measures serve to increase France's economic
power and independence as part of a "productivity pact to increase work
for all." To this end, the transformation of the current employment
agency, including stricter unemployment insurance, and the reform of minimum
social security are also planned; Macron is aiming for full employment in
incoming French leadership faces the challenge of solving the existing
financial problems in the French pension system without jeopardising the
economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis. The current unpredictable
situation in Ukraine and its economic consequences will play a further role,
thus rendering this balancing act even more difficult.