New pension rules revealed today

Mothers and older long-term jobless will get right to retire at 60 under new measures

5 June 2012

DETAILS of new pension rules that will allow some workers to retire at the age of 60 will be revealed today.

Social Affairs Minister Marisol Touraine will put a decree to the Conseil des Ministres for approval and this will, in part, overturn one of the most controversial reforms introduced by former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

It will say that people who started work at 18 or 19 years old and who have been paying charges for at least 41 years have the right to take their pension at the age of 60 and not have to wait until the Sarkozy-imposed age of retirement at 62.

Mothers will be amongst those to benefit as the government has said it is keen to help women who started work early but who, while raising a family, had a broken contributions record and not paid enough into the system.

Older workers on long-term unemployment will also be given a boost, especially those who are close to retirement age.

Fine details of the proposals - how many people will benefit, the age range and job type of those involved - will be outlined after today's meeting.

The changes are a campaign promise by President Hollande but the numbers to benefit have already changed from the 150,000 previously mentioned to the 100,000 that Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault is now suggesting.

Ayrault said on BFMTV last week: "This is for people who started very early in laborious jobs and have contributed for many years."

It is expected the changes will cost €5 billion over the next five years and Ayrault said this would be paid for with increased contributions.

He said the plans would not increase the public deficit as they were committed to cutting the deficit to under 3% of gross domestic product in 2013.

Unions and management representatives have been consulted on the proposals and will be consulted again with an aim to a complete overhaul of the pensions system.

Laurence Parisot, leader of employers federation Medef, has said she regrets that the government did not look at different scenarios and at the costs for its proposals - both "for the economy and the people concerned".
Photo: Manuel

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