FRANCE – The French social partners began meetings today to discuss the impact of France’s state pensions reform on supplementary pensions.

Medef, the CGPME and the UPA met today with the unions, CGT, CFDT, FO, CGC and CFTC to discuss how the reform will affect the two supplementary retirement fund associations, AGIRC and ARRCO.

According to Medef, the first meeting will not delve what must be done just yet, but instead discuss the financial needs of the AGIRC And ARRCO and form a calendar of negotiations.

“The whole point is to determine the consequences of the new pension reform on the supplementary schemes,” says Cecile Vokleber, adviser at AGIRC-ARRCO. “The reform stated that, for lower-earning employees, the benefits must equal at least 85% of the salary. This will have an impact of ARRCO as it is the supplementary association for lower-earning employees.” AGIRC is the supplementary scheme for executives.

The reform also upped the contribution period which will lead to a longer working life. What age people will now retire at, is a further issue for discussion, as is the issue of early retirement.

Discussions are expected to continue until the end of 2003.