Postpone retirement at 65? We decipher this campaign proposal by Emmanuel Macron and Valérie Pécresse

It was one of the great reforms that Emmanuel Macron wanted, abandoned due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If re-elected, the presidential candidate has promised raising the legal retirement age to 65, instead of the current 62. If the contours of the proposal are relatively undefined, the latter should assume the bulk of the reform planned for 2019. In addition to increasing the retirement age, the candidate wants to abolish special regimes and introduce a minimum pension of 1,100 euros. If adopted, the transition will occur at age 65. “gradually” until 2032, said Richard Ferrand, president of La République en Marche (LREM) of the National Assembly.

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The project, explosive, does not meet the approval of the French men and women: a survey by the Ipsos Institute for the Landoy think tank reports that 60% of them would like a legal exit age “between 60 and 62 years”. On the left, most applicants do not want to reach the retirement age of 62 ; some, like Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Fabien Roussel, even want to lower it to 60 years. Only Valérie Pécresse agrees with the outgoing president. Eric Zemmour proposes to leave at the age of 64, a proposal initially defended in 2019 by Emmanuel Macron.

What is this reform proposal based on, what would be its effect on the employment rate of the elderly? Franceinfo answers the questions that arise.

1How do Macron and Pécresse justify their proposal?

The first argument used by supporters of Emmanuel Macron is financial. “It turns out that the pension system is a system that is unbalanced and loses money every year”, affirmed, on March 16, Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health. Delaying the retirement age to 65 years would save 7.7 billion euros a year until 2027 and 18 billion euros from 2032, according to an estimate by the Institut Montaigne, a liberal think tank, reported by the echoes. One way, according to Richard Ferrand, of “Work more” for “produce more wealth to finance our social model, our education, our health system, our armies”.

To the financial argument is added, according to LREM and the Republicans, that of life expectancy. “We will live longer, we will have to work more”, Dear Valérie Pécresse at RTL to defend your proposal. TO justification similar to that of Nicolas Sarkozy, in 2010by raising the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62 years.

twoIs the financing of pensions deficient?

The answer to this question depends on the temporality in which we place ourselves. The pension system suffered a deficit of almost 18,000 million euros in 2020, according to a report from the Pension Guidance Council (COR)published in June 2021. As explained in an article by the Worldthis drop in revenue is mainly related to the Covid-19 pandemic and “to the contraction of business activity”. Therefore, the pension system should return to balance by 2030, the COR points out in its report.

A conclusion that pushes Julie Landour, a sociologist at PSL Paris-Dauphine University, to qualify the justification financial“ideological”. “The reforms of 2003 and 2010 [qui a repoussé l’âge légal de départ à 62 ans] focused precisely on financing issuesexplains the researcher to franceinfo. Spending on pensions should now not exceed 14% of GDP. We still do not see the effects, because it is a visible long-term process. So despite “the gradual aging of the French population”, “changes in the share of pension spending in GDP would remain on a controlled trajectory over the projection horizon, i.e. 2070”emphasizes the COR.

“We know that the system is viable, because previous reforms provided for a reduction in the replacement rate [c’est-à-dire le pourcentage de votre dernier revenu que vous conserverez à la retraite]which will drop from the current 50% to 37%”explains the researcher. In other words, the amount of individual pensions will decrease over the years as the number of retirees increases.

3Should we raise the retirement age as life expectancy increases?

This is one of the main arguments of those who defend retirement at age 65. According to INSEE datathe life expectancy of women has increased from 84.3 years in 2008 to 85.4 years in 2021. For men the increase has been somewhat higher, going from 77.6 years in 2008 to 79.3 years in 2021. However, a form of stagnation has been observed since 2014.

In view of these data, it would be logical, therefore, to delay the retirement age, argue the supporters of retirement, until 65 years. But others, like Jean-Luc Mélenchon, point to the figures behind the INSEE averages. an article of Break freebased on the data collected by the institute, stresses “that a quarter of the poorest have already died at retirement age”. “Executives have a set of resources that allows them to live a longer and healthier life”confirms Julie Landour, who recalls that life expectancy “in good health” It is “63 years for men and 64 years for women”.

with the establishment “of a universal diet” and the abolition of special diets, so that no French could leave before the age of 65? Not necessarily, if we are to believe the supporters of Emmanuel Macron, who promise to take the hard work into account. olivier will see so assured “unambiguously” only one “the caregiver will not work until this age”.

In the current system, a device, the personal prevention account, allows you to leave up to two years earlier in the event of a difficult job. “Plus an order from 2017 has significantly revised the thresholds above which hard work can be claimed, and certain criteria such as heavy loads have been removedJulie Landour explains. This means that 40% of the workers previously affected by these criteria no longer have the right to do so.

4Can retirement at age 65 improve the employment rate of the elderly?

This was stated by Emmanuel Macron, interviewed by France Bleu. “The more employers know that you retire at 62, the less they will hire you”, he explained to justify his measure. turning 65 can “give a signal to companies” and “encourage them to hire people over 55-65 years of age”Judge Monika Queisser, pension specialist at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In France, “the employment rate of the elderly (55 years and over), although constantly increasing, remains low compared to other European countries, especially among those over 60 years of age”, explains a note from the Ministry of Economy. At the end of 2019, the employment rate for people aged 60 to 64 was 34% in France, compared to 63% in Germany and 47% in the euro zone. One of the explanatory factors of these figures is the lack of measures adopted for the integration of older people in the labor market.

“Ultimately, the question is not so much the starting age as how do we allow people to age as well as possible in the workplace?”Julie Landour believes. The researcher points the finger at other European countries, in particular “Sweden”that they have implemented “progressive retirement schemes with part-time use”. The question “top training” it’s also important, says Monika Queisser, citing the example of Germany, which often escorts people at the end of their careers to more suitable jobs.

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