public-private disparities challenged

Are the pension calculation methods more advantageous for civil servants than for private sector employees? To this question, as old as it is controversial, the answer has often been affirmative. A note, made public on Thursday, November 17, by the research service of the health and social ministries, twists the neck of these platitudes, indicating that“there would be no manifest inequity at the global level” between the two sectors. This new light comes as the government consults the social partners on its reform of pension schemes, which should be adopted before the end of winter 2023.

The document released Thursday was produced by the Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (Drees). It aims to identify “winners and losers” of a system characterized by its “complexity”her “fragmentation” and the ” diversity “ rights and obligations, which generates “often heated debates”. Over the past twenty years, several laws have been passed in order to bring public provisions closer to those of the private sector – particularly in terms of duration of insurance and contribution rates. But it remains “several size differences”.

A singularity is regularly put forward – and castigated: the pension of a civil servant is determined by taking into account the salary he received during the last six months of his career “and at the rate of 75%”. Situation which, at first glance, seems privileged compared to that of a worker in the private sector, whose pension is fixed “based on the best twenty-five years of salary at the rate of 50%”as the Drees reminds us.

“subjective appreciation”

But it is worth mentioning other specificities, likely to counterbalance the previous ones. Thus, to calculate the amount of the pension in the private sector, it is based on the entire remuneration, including bonuses. The latter are taken into consideration for public officials, but in much lower proportions, to finance a so-called “additional” pension. In addition, employees benefit from a supplementary scheme – Agirc-Arrco –, which is not the case for civil servants.

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The DREES therefore wanted to identify the effects of this “regulatory discrepancy” by simulating what the pension of a person from the public sector would be if they saw the rules of the private sector apply. The authors of the report focused on civil servants “sedentary”that is to say to all those who do not come under the “active categories” for which early retirement, before the age of 62, is authorized (police officers, nursing assistants, etc.). The analysis was carried out on the generation born in 1958.

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