the executive unveils its pension reform

Emmanuel Macron and Élisabeth Borne are now taking the next step. After several weeks of negotiations with the social partners and the political parties, the Government has just presented its bill reforming the pension system, which is already arousing opposition from the trade unions and a large part of the political class.

Legal age of departure, contribution period, long career and hardship schemes: the issues of the text had already been addressed by the Minister of Labour, also in charge of the file, Olivier Dussopt, during a press conference in December 2022. On their side, the organizations representing the construction industry have also begun to advance their pawns on the subject.

Postponed legal retirement age and increased contribution period

The verdict therefore fell on January 10, 2023. The Prime Minister announced a gradual increase in the legal retirement age from 62 to 64 from September 1, 2023, at the rate of three months per year of birth. It will be set at 63 years and three months in 2027 before reaching its target of 64 years in 2030.

This shift is accompanied by an increase in the contribution period, which goes from 42 to 43 years, which corresponds to what is already fixed by the Touraine law of 2014. If the executive applies the new regime from the autumn 2023 – provided that the text passes the test of Parliament and, probably also, that of the street -, the 1968 generation would thus be the first to retire at 64, in 2032.

As is already the case at present, people leaving at age 67 will continue to benefit from a full pension, in other words without a discount, even if they have not contributed for 43 years.

Measures specific to long careers

The system of long careers – even “super long” – will also be adapted: concretely, employees who started working before the age of 16 will be able to leave at the age of 58; those who started between the ages of 16 and 18, from the age of 60; and those between 18 and 20 years old, from 62 years old.

Persons in a situation of disability or incapacity can always leave at 62 with a full pension, disabled workers from 55 years of age. Employees who have suffered an accident at work or an occupational disease may, under certain conditions “relaxed”leave two years before the legal age.

Professional wear

The Government aims to ensure that a greater number of employees benefit from the prevention professional account (C2P), which will open up more rights, such as in the event of night work or exposure to several occupational risks. The reform project is counting on 60,000 additional people covered by the C2P, which can also now be used to finance retraining leave to change jobs more easily.

Already announced at the end of 2022, an investment fund for the prevention of professional wear and tear will be created and endowed with one billion euros over the entire second five-year term of Emmanuel Macron. Its role will be to support the professional branches in the identification of professions exposed to ergonomic risks, in particular the carrying of heavy loads, painful postures or even vibrations, as well as in the financing of prevention and retraining actions, in collaboration with employers.

Similarly, enhanced medical monitoring will be set up for employees working in occupations identified as arduous. This system will make it possible to carry out preventive actions while more effectively detecting situations of incapacity allowing early retirement at age 62.

Increase in pensions and “senior” indexes

At the same time, the Government wishes to increase the minimum contribution to 85% of the Smic (minimum wage) net for new retirees who will have earned the Smic throughout their career, which corresponds to a minimum monthly increase of €100 for a career complete.

Periods of parental leave will also be taken into account, simultaneously with the long career system, for the calculation of the minimum pension for employees who have worked for more than 30 years.

Finally, an index dedicated to the employment of people over 50 will be created. The goal : “make it transparent” and encourage employers to keep people over this age in their companies.

In order to allow employees to arrange their working time throughout their career, negotiations will be launched to establish a universal time savings account. Gradual retirement, which makes it possible to liquidate part of the pension before the legal retirement age to work part-time, will also be relaxed.

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