Why this pension reform will not be the last

The government sees it as a reform ” fair “ and bearer of ” progress “, before ” to preserve “ the system “by 2030”, repeat in a loop the ministers responsible for defending the pension reform for a few days. By 2030, but after? At the end of the 2027 presidential election, will the executive have to put the work back on the job? The Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, admits it in private: this reform is not the last. In France there is a pension reform every five or six years, impossible to promise that one of them will be final in such an uncertain area.

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The ambiguity has not arisen recently. When he was in the campaign, Emmanuel Macron himself had talked about “review clause”, to convince that raising the retirement age to 65 was not “not a dogma” but one “horizon beyond 2030”with steps. “There are good reasons to think that this reform is not the last”summarizes the economist Michaël Zemmour, lecturer at the University of Paris-I-Panthéon-Sorbonne and specialist in pensions, for whom this “leaves the possibility to the next government to extend the line in 2027”. Clearly, to continue to play on the parameters of age and duration of contribution.

To the nearest billion

In fact, the documents and graphs provided by the government do not go beyond 2030. The curve stops after returning to green. The parameters were calibrated as accurately as possible to achieve balance on this date. Partly for political reasons: there is no question of showing that the reform could yield more than necessary, nor of unnecessarily displaying a system in surplus. Without reform, the projections show a deficit of 13.5 billion in 2030, the government project makes it possible to fill it to the nearest billion.

The increase in the legal retirement age from 62 to 64, combined with the acceleration of the rate at which the contribution period will increase to forty-three years, thus brings in 17.7 billion euros in 2030, according to the project presented by the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, on January 10. The accompanying measures – maintenance of the legal age at 62 for disability, long career system, revaluation of small pensions in particular – cost nearly 5 billion euros over this period. A bill which will increase, in all likelihood, during the debate in Parliament, with for example the extension of the revaluation of small pensions to current retirees (and not only to new ones), estimated at 1 billion euros. The executive leaves itself little leeway for contingencies.

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