Reform at last for French pensions

2003

The French Parliament has passed a Bill to reform its traditionally generous public sector pensions, despite widespread opposition that led to the crippling public sector strikes last May.

The reforms are based on a phased increase in the contribution period - from 37.5 years to 41 years . There will also be cuts to the generous retirement benefits for civil servants who retire early and incentives to encourage them to stay in work beyond 55. Their retirement age will remain at 60.

In a concession granted to gain union support, the basic pension was raised to 85 per cent of the minimum wage instead of a previously proposed 75 per cent.

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