France's firefighters win retirement age concession

Members of emergency service will be able to retire at 57 despite government's planned pension and retirement reforms

7 November 2019
By James Harrington

France's firefighters have won an exemption in the government's planned pension reforms.

The government's planned reforms of France's complex pension system are not due to go before MPs until 2020, but they have already prompted numerous strikes and protests.

Read more: ‘Angry’ French firefighters protest in Paris

But firefighters unions have obtained an important concession on the age at which the emergency service's staff get full pension rights, following talks at the Interior Ministry.

Read more (subscribers only): French pension reforms set to spark strikes

It has been reported that the government plans to set the legal retirement age at 64, but firefighters will be able to retire at 57 - the same age as soldiers, police officers and customs officials.

Read more: New Paris protest against French pension reforms

Protests are set to continue, which means these professions may not be the only ones able to deviate from the universal retirement age. SNCF staff - who are planning an indefinite walkout from December 5 -  could also pressure the government into a similar concession.

Hospital staff, who are due to start demonstrating against changes to their pensions from November 14, will want similar treatment.

Read more: Public transport strike cripples Paris

France's pensions commissioner Jean-Paul Delevoye, responsible for organising consultation with the main actors in the field of pensions and coordinating, at inter-ministerial level, the preparation of pension reform, is expected to have meetings with representatives of 350 business sectors before the end of the year.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Get news, views and information from France