Last month it emerged that incumbent president and candidate Emmanuel Macron is planning to push the French retirement age back by three years if re-elected.
Mr Macron has said that he would gradually move the private retirement age back to 65 over the next 10 years to 2032. The current fixed age for a full pension starts at 62.
Read more: Retirement at 65 (not 62) and €1,100 monthly pension: Macron’s plans
However, during a campaign visit to Nord and Pas-de-Calais last week, the president-candidate also said that he was prepared to “move” on the issue, and would settle on a pension age of 64 if this would lead to a “consensus.”
France currently has one of the lowest retirement ages in Europe. Workers in countries including Belgium, Austria, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Luxembourg, Romania and Hungary must all reach at least the age of 65 before they can claim a pension.
Only in Belarus, Slovakia, Ukraine, Malta, Russia and France is the pension age 62 or lower.
We asked Connexion readers for their opinions on the optimum retirement age. Thank you to all who responded; we have included various different replies below.
‘People should be able to choose’
“I think people should be able to choose their retirement age and receive pensions commensurate with their contributions,” said one reader.
“Some people I know choose to have a young life that includes lots of holidays and longer periods without work while others start working and [contributing to] their pensions earlier. And some older people I know would rather have time to themselves than a higher income from their pension.
“If people could take their pension between 55 and 65 and receive their dues without state top ups then they can retire at any age.
“I loved my job and it held my interest until I was 63. I could have retired at 60 on full pension but had savings, so had I wanted to I could have retired earlier.”
‘Should be later because we’re living longer’
Another reader argued that the French retirement age “should be even later because we're living longer, mostly able to do something useful well after 70, and the national pension fund is being stretched beyond previously held limits.”
‘Depends when you started work’
It depends entirely on when you started work in my opinion and even with the ‘lower’ 62 years it can still be a very long career,” said another reader.
“I myself started work at 16 in 1976 and at the end of 2020 I had enough trimesters to retire.
“However I had not reached the age to be able to retire according to the rules, and if I retire this year at the legal age of 62 then I have to forfeit 10% of my supplementary pension for at least three years again due to the ‘new’ pension rules which are already in place.
“So I will work until the end of April next year and be able to retire with a complete pro rata French pension for the 11 years I have worked here.”
‘65 a reasonable age’
“I consider 65 a reasonable retirement age for most jobs, apart from the very heavy, manual ones, which take a considerable physical toll,” one reader commented.
“For building labourers, some road workers, active policemen and active firemen, some consideration needs to be given, but in the two latter, usually office work can be given when people are over 58.
“It is always difficult too if people develop health issues, which also need to be considered separately, and some early retirement is always required in individual cases.
“People cannot be expected to keep up the same physical commitment, if illness intervenes.
“It is the ‘grey’ areas like this, which make absolute legislation difficult, rendering it necessary to have consideration for ‘special cases,’ with safeguards against the inevitable dodgers.”
Another reader agreed that 65 was generally a suitable retirement age, “given that most people expect to live longer than previous generations.”
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