After two days of demonstrations against the transition to the 64-year retirement age, the Minister of Work, Full Employment and Integration, who will present the text to the Council of Ministers on Monday, defends a ” redistributive reform “. With the JDD, he confirms that the project has been evolving since it was presented to the French on January 10, specifically integrating a revaluation of small retirement pensions for current retirees. The government’s objective has not changed: build a majority “, after a”the parliamentary debate is rich, quality, sincere and therefore without obstacles“.
Are you afraid that the mobilization against the reform will last?
No need to talk about “fear“: demonstrating is the strictest right of unions, we respect it. We take note of the mobilization, which was important, and which was done calmly. It is the expression of the messages we must listen to. Some are known, others will emerge; we will pay attention to it. On the other hand, it must also be remembered that the debate will take place in Parliament.
Has the bill changed since the January 10 announcements?
Yes. In particular, it will integrate the revaluation of the small pensions of current retirees who have worked all their lives on the minimum wage, not just those of the future. They will also receive an increase in their pension of up to 100 euros per month. It was a very forceful request from the deputies of the majority and the Republicans.
The system will be balanced by 2030
How much will this change cost?
More than 1,000 million euros, financed by the increase in employer contributions to the branch of old-age insurance, itself compensated by the reduction in contributions for work accidents and occupational diseases. So this will be neutral in terms of labor cost.
What does this change for the balance of the system?
The system will be balanced in 2030. In 2027, the situation of the system will have improved significantly, by approximately 8,000 million euros, to place the deficit at 4,600 million compared to 12.4 without reform.
How many people will be affected by this increase in the minimum pension?
Approximately 200,000 new retirees each year, or almost one in four retirements, to which must be added 1.8 million current retirees. Above all, it is the most modest pensioners – 30% of the most modest pensioners – who will benefit the most. Today, a minimum wage worker who retires after 42 years of contribution earns around 1,100 euros gross. In September 2023, he will leave with almost 1,200 euros.
Will pensions increase?
This reform is redistributive, because it is the poorest pensioners who will see their pensions increase in liquidation. The impact study of the bill, which will be presented on Monday, shows an increase of almost 5% for pensions in the bottom 20%, compared to less than 1% for pensions in the top 20% high The average pension will increase by 0.3% for the 1962 generation, 0.6% for those born in 1966 and 1.5% for the 1972 generation.
The opposition parties and the unions believe that the promise of a minimum pension of 1,200 euros is false because the amount is gross. Could it be clean?
Guaranteeing a minimum pension of 85% of the net minimum wage for a career entirely at the minimum wage has been enshrined in law since 2003. Those who criticize us are among the elected officials who have done nothing to implement this principle , which has remained as an illusion. Our majority is the one who will fulfill this promise by increasing the minimum pension by 100 euros per month and indexing the amount to the minimum wage in order to make this progress sustainable for future generations. I point out that after retirement, the minimum, like all pensions, is also indexed to inflation.
Who are the losers and winners of this reform?
There are no losers. We are asking many French people to make an effort; we know it’s important, though we make sure it’s right for every situation. For example, we’ve ensured that increased career lengths are distributed as evenly as possible within each generation and across generations. Thus, the effective retirement age [62,9 ans aujourd’hui] In reality, it will only change about six months on average, and only three months for those on the lowest pensions. This derives, above all, from our long-career system, with a new level at 18, and the maintenance of the possibility to leave from the age of 62 for people with disabilities, and at 67 at the full rate for that have long career breaks. The winners of the reform are the poorest French, those who have had a complicated career, women, and also all French people who will improve their pensions.
We ask many French people to make an effort
Some unions fear that the increase in children’s quarters will be questioned. Is this an option?
Our reform protects women. Most of them will benefit from the increase in the minimum pension, as more of them receive reduced pensions. In addition, certain quarters of parental leave, now partially taken into account in pension rights, will now count for long career departures and in the calculation of the minimum pension. The impact study proves it: in the long term, the increase in women’s pensions will be double that of men (+2.2% compared to +0.9%). Regarding the rules you mention, we are not changing anything. On the other hand, I would like the Pensions Orientation Council to assume all family rights, true nests of inequalities since they are various according to the regimes.
The French who started working at the age of 20 will have to contribute 44 years, and not 43 like the others. Isn’t this an injustice?
Without reform, there are already more than 150,000 people who have more trimesters before the legal age and who cannot leave before that. There are always threshold effects! I do not deny the difficulty. But what do our critics think of the workers who leave today after 44 years of contribution when the law only requires 42? We’re closing that gap, we’re improving the current system. Claiming perfection is easier in the mouth of those who criticize than in the hands of those who do it.
Did you miss this political issue?
No, because we have achieved our goal: to recover as much equality as possible. We are keeping the full retirement age at 67, creating a new entitlement for those who have worked for 16-18 years and better compensating career breaks. The gap between the minimum duration and the maximum duration of work to go out at full rate has never been so small, and therefore the maximum discount will drop from 25% to 15%. Our system is generous and that’s a good thing. The proof: the number of early exits in long careers will reactivate, while structurally it tends to decrease with later entries into the labor market. 40% of workers will benefit from early exit plans.
When we have nothing to say about the substance, we attack the form!
How much will the pension reform contribute?
In 2030, the reform will generate a gain of 17,700 million euros, of which two thirds will reduce the deficit, and the rest to finance social justice measures. In 2030, the system will therefore be in balance.
You will create a senior index. Will there be penalties for poor results?
During the consultations, the social partners were clear: no penalty but an obligation to negotiate with the company about the employment of the elderly in the event of no progress or in the event of deterioration. We have heard them. However, if the employer does not publish its index, it will have to pay a penalty equivalent to 1% of the payroll. After the creation of this tool by law, the social partners will be invited to debate the criteria, to ensure their relevance and effectiveness.
Can all these measures be included in a budget text?
Legislative measures will be examined through a Social Security funding amendment bill. Some – and others to come that are not part of the pension reform – can be included in a future text on full employment, in the spring.
Fifteen Republican deputies intend to vote against pension reform. Is 49-3 possible?
We intend to build a majority. And I hope that the parliamentary debate will be rich, quality, sincere and therefore without obstacles.
The opposition criticizes the lack of debate on this reform. There is no method problem?
When we have nothing to say about the substance, we attack the form… The left cannot play the big guns in the demonstrations and the small guns in the debates. [Le leader Insoumis] Jean-Luc Mélenchon claims retirement at age 60, but it costs 85 billion euros. Olivier Faure [numéro un du PS] him too, but with 43 years of contributions: everyone understands that he would be a machine for discounts and poverty. Let them agree with each other! And, between us, the debate has already lasted four years.
Source : Le JDD