France: Will all French really retire at 64 soon? – Politics
On topic pension reform in Germany one quickly comes across the cliché of the lazy French. After all, in this country people will have to work until they are 67 years old, in the Netherlands and Italy possibly even until over 70. And the French get annoyed if they are supposed to retire at 64 instead of 62? It is not quite that easy.
In fact, the French government’s reform envisages gradually raising the statutory retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030. But that doesn’t mean that in France so far all retired at 62 and will in future retire at 64. In fact, for many, retirement begins later. The legal retirement age is just the earliest age you can retire in France. However, you only get a full pension if you have paid into the pension fund long enough. Currently, the number of contribution years to qualify for a full pension is 42 years. The reform aims to increase this to 43 years by 2027.
This means that anyone who started working at the age of 23, for example, had to work until at least 65 under the previous regulation in order to be able to retire without deductions. After the reform, he will only be able to retire without deductions at the age of 66. At the age of 67, French people have been entitled to a full pension regardless of how long they have paid in – this is to remain the case after the reform.
In an international comparison, most people in France retire early
However, the previous pension system provided for special regulations for many sectors, the so-called specific regimes. Metro drivers at the Paris public transport company, for example, were able to retire at the age of 52, and employees of the electricity company EDF at 60. Most of these special regulations will no longer exist after the reform. Due to the numerous special regulations, among other things, the French have so far left working life relatively early in international comparison: women at 60.9 years, men at 60.4 years. The average across OECD countries is 62.4 years for women and 63.8 years for men.
One of the main criticisms of the opponents of the reform is that people who entered strenuous and poorly paid jobs early on would have to work longer as a result of the reform. After all, well-paid academics who only started working after completing their studies have often only retired at the age of 64 or even older. The reform provides for exceptions for everyone who started working very early. For example, anyone who started working at the age of 18 should be able to retire at the age of 60. Even the increase in the minimum pension to 1,200 euros does not put many opponents in a mild mood. They should only be given to employees who have paid in all the required contribution years.