FRANCE – The president of the French employers’ organisation Medef, Ernest-Antoine Seilliere, today backed the government’s proposals to increase the length of contributions, saying the level of pensions can only be guaranteed if more contributions are made.

“The reality is that you have to contribute for a longer period of time in order to have a full pension,” said Seilliere in a French radio interview.

“We have shown that it is probably necessary to increase the duration of supplementary pensions contributions by two or three years in order to balance the system – maybe even longer,” he added.

But Seilliere does not believe that such a measure will have to be taken for another thirty years.

Debates over the French pension reform are heating up as the meeting of the government and the social partners nears. This week, France’s trade unions announced they would be holding a day of national protest on February 1 to voice their demands over pensions rights. The meeting is expected to take place soon after.

The unions also entered a day-long talk today with the employees of Electricite de France and Gaz de France on the future of their pension scheme as they change from state-owned utilities to private companies.