Pensions: is the reform really more advantageous for women?


Since the presentation of its pension reform plan, the government has been hammering it hard: its reform plan is a step forward for women. During her presentation speech of the reform, the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, assured that her project proves to be ” fairer especially for women “. The latter are greatly disadvantaged by the current pension system. Thus, the average retirement pension of women is 40% lower than that of men, as revealed by the Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (DREES) in its overview of Pensions and retirees 2022. The average pension for women in 2020 is 1,401 euros per month and 1,955 euros for men.

The idea of ​​an advantageous pension reform for women is disputed by certain academics and feminist activists, who believe that the government’s project contributes precisely to the increase of inequalities between women and men. ” The truth is that the measures planned so far will worsen the situation of women, and nothing is planned to improve it. », writes the engineer-researcher and member of the scientific council of Attac Christiane Marty in a forum of the world . ” 40% of women leave with an incomplete career at the age of 62 and with 42 annuities. With the lowering of the retirement age to 64 and the 43 compulsory annuities provided for by the reform, women will be penalized doubly. », says Rachel Silvera, professor of economics and specialist in gender inequalities in the labor market, requested by the JDD. Explanations in four points.

1 – Revaluation of minimum pensions

Among the key measures to reduce inequalities, Elisabeth Borne announced the revaluation of minimum pensions to 85% of the minimum wage for a full career at the minimum wage. In its press release on the pension reform, the government considers that this measure would particularly benefit” former self-employed, women and former farmers “. Except that the measure only refers to full careers, while women are mainly affected by short and part-time careers. Thus, according to DRESS, 44% of women of the generation of 1950, are in say, almost half, retired with an incomplete career, compared to 32% of men.

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For these women, the revaluation could be carried out only in proportion to the duration of the contribution. Therefore, the impact of this measure on female retirees is limited because they are more likely not to have accumulated the number of annuities required for a full pension.

2 – The discount

In the National Assembly, Olivier Dussopt, Minister of Labor, insisted: “ Women will be more protected, because we are not moving back the age at which the discount is removed. If the discount age remains the same, this means that the situation remains the same: women who have not validated the number of trimesters needed to date before age 67 will continue to date at age 67. Age does not recede, but it does not advance either.

This status quo leaves economics professor Rachel Silvera skeptical: ” he is outrageous to say that this is a step forward for women. It is twice as long to wait until the age of 67 to retire precisely because of the discount. A real measure that would have limited the effect of incomplete runs would have been to remove the discount. »

According to INSEE, 19% of women born in 1950 had to wait until they were 65 and 66 to retire, to avoid a discount, compared to 10% of men in the same age group.

3- Parental permission

The government reform also provides for the consideration of ” periods of parental leave “, taken in most cases by women, to allow departures with the long career system. According to the executive, more than 3,000 women could benefit from the measure each year.

However, according to Rachel Silvera, this new consideration of the parental leave period is ” pales in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of women who retire each year and even for all women. Furthermore, not all women are affected by parental leave and pension inequalities are not only linked to this factor. »

4 – Difficulties

Very flammable subject of the reform, the government has indicated that it is not changing the criteria of penalties in the current work. During his previous five-year term, Emmanuel Macron had several criteria removed from the penalty count that allowed him to retire two years early, such as carrying heavy loads or painful postures.

According to Rachel Silvera, these criteria are restrictive and do not take into account the difficulty of the most feminized professions: “ In the care professions, there is everything that is included in psychic and emotional criteria such as attention to people at the end of their lives, in suffering. These forms of difficulty become invisible. »

As it stands, pension reform would not help the government meet its goal of reducing inequalities between women and men, which is nevertheless the big cause of the five-year plan. For egalitarian pension reform, Rachel Silvera raises the importance of erasing inequalities between women and men long before retirement age: “If we do not take real measures to move towards the reduction of wage inequalities and towards a revaluation of feminized professions, if we do not attack the inequalities that are created in family limitations with a real distribution of leave and many others things, you will never have a fair pension reform. »More than a reform of pensions, a change of society in short.

Source : Le JDD

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