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13.09.2018 26

French pension reform: a Trojan horse for a better control of the State budget?

Published September 13, 2018

5 to 10 minutes

5 to 10 minutes

The essential


After the reforms introduced in the 2000s, the financial sustainability of the current system appears to be assured under growth conditions. However, this is occurring at the expense of the replacement rate of wages by pensions, and with an extension of the retirement age in order to be brought into line with other European states. However, the complexity of the French system remains an issue.

The reform process, which began in April 2018 and should be completed by the end of 2019, appears justified by seeking a simplified, more understandable, fair and universal system that is better suited to individualised developments in today’s career paths.

However, the government will probably seek to assume the overall management of pensions and ensure a less burdensome and more flexible social cost than what exists today.

The objective of improving the competitiveness of businesses is not presently being put forward by the government, except through a funded pillar that will be introduced, but this is a component of the expectations of a portion of the right-leaning electorate.

Above all, this reform will, first and foremost, have trouble convincing the biggest losers in the harmonisation scheme, namely civil servants and specialised schemes (SNCF, ENGIE, etc.), while the popularity of the President continues to tumble and the left-leaning electorate accuses him of implementing only the liberal portion of his platform.

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