Study: French people taking retirement later and later

Four in ten retired people in France are now 75 years old or older, as the average pension age increases

French people are taking retirement at an increasingly older age, a new study has found, with the average age now approaching 63, a rise of two months compared to the the previous year.

The annual study came from the Caisse Nationale d’Assurance-Vieillesse (CNAV), and was published on Monday (March 4) this week.

It found that the average age of people from the private sector first taking their state pension was 62.7 for 2018, a rise of two months compared to the previous year.

This means that, accounting for different pension reforms and generally increased life expectancy, the average age of pensioners - those counted within the wider pension system across France - is now 74.3.

Four in ten retired people are now 75 years old or older.

The number of people drawing a pension also rose in 2018 - by 1.5% - taking the number to 14.3 million. This includes just over six million men and eight million women.

Overall, pension payments are up, as more and more baby boomers begin to draw their pensions. The state spent €118 billion in payments in 2018, up 2.9% compared to 2017.

The average pension amount, for a “complete career” and from all sources, was €1,057 per month in 2018. Women on average still draw less (€946 per month) than men (€1,157). However, most pensioners also receive some other form of pension, depending on their career and former industry.

On average, most French pensioners receive funds from three separate sources.

Yet, most pensioners do not qualify for a “complete career” amount in the first place. Only around five million people draw this total.

In reality, the average amount received in 2018, all factors and industries considered, was actually less: €707 per month (€817 for men and €614 for women).

The legal age for retirement in France is currently fixed at 62, and President Emmanuel Macron has previously said that he is aiming not to change this during his presidency.

Yet, the government has recently discussed raising the legal age to 63, and according to calculations from retirement council le Conseil d’Orientation des Retraites, to avoid a pension deficit, French people will have to delay retirement until 63 by the year 2025, and until 64 by 2035.

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