Tribune. France is one of the last countries to maintain the standard of living of retirees in relation to their working life situation, an objective set for pension schemes in the 1970s and achieved since the end of the 1990s.
Should we abandon this objective? This is what most other European countries have done with the reforms they introduced in the 1980s in Great Britain, in 1998 in Sweden or in 2001 in Germany. These reforms have strengthened the link between the duration and amount of contributions and the amount of pensions (increased contributory) and delayed the legal retirement age (set at 67 years or more). They have resulted in a rapid fall in replacement rates (level of pension in relation to the last salary) of compulsory public pensions and a return to poverty among the elderly.
In reaction, these countries did not go back on their reform, but, on the one hand, improved or implemented retirement minimums, on the other hand offered to those who wished to maintain their standard of living in retirement to save money. in pension funds heavily subsidized by tax exemptions. But it is above all the better-off who save for their retirement or those who work in large companies where collective pension funds of groups or branches have been set up.
Thus, everywhere in Europe, pension reforms have lowered the general standard of living of retirees, while allowing the richest to succeed, without improving the lot of women, with more often incomplete careers.
The numerous reforms launched in our country since 1993 have also gradually increased the contribution of our pension system. From 2018, replacement rates started to fall (by 3%). Projections from the Pension Guidance Council show that they will continue to decline. As elsewhere, the French governments announce a minimum pension guarantee for the lowest incomes and encourage the highest incomes to save (with more generous tax exemptions than elsewhere, with almost no ceilings, which mainly benefits the better-off. ).
The drop in income of retirees and the increase in inequalities between them and between men and women would have been accelerated by the establishment of a generalized point system without compensation for the most precarious, with incomplete careers. The government seems to have abandoned this project, only considering delaying the retirement age. But this single measure will also have deleterious effects on pensions and inequalities!
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