The publication of the second part of France’s ‘Rapport Charpin’ on the country’s retirement system, due to be released on May 28, has been pre-empted by a keynote declaration from French employers calling for an increase in pension contribution timespans for employees.
MEDEF, the Mouvement des Entreprises de France, has also called for a radical switch of the state social security system to the points scale used by complimentary regimes ARRCO and AGIRC, and to calculate retirement benefit on a full career basis, not on the last six months as at present.
The French government is also being asked to make public its pension payments to civil servants and to manage these in specific pension funding structures, following the same obligation put on corporations.
This it believes will clarify retirement equality for all French citizens.
The employers federation says it has put forward the raft of suggestions to ensure France can face up to the future demographic pensions challenge without any real increase in pension contribution amounts, which it says could damage French employment prospects.
MEDEF’s recommendation for the duration of pension contributions to ARRCO and AGIRC is a minimum of 170 trimesters by the year 2015, in order to safeguard the future of the pay-as-you-go second pillar.
The federation adds that this would provide sufficient cover to allow employees the freedom to decide their own retirement age, depending on personal pension provision made on top of the state system .
Index spending for France’s pension schemes should also be based on prices not wages, the report remarks.
MEDEF believes its proposals will help France prepare for the future by laying the foundations for pension funding as a top up to state retirement benefits.
A spokesperson for the federation commented: “The proposals are also designed to create employment, but they must be allied with fiscal incentives, such as integrating pension contributions to the tax free ceilings of other savings plans in France, if they are to have any real impact.”
Vincent Vandrier at the Association Française des Regimes et Fonds de Pension (AFPEN), commented: “MEDEF’s suggestions have the precise objective of controlling retirement levels in France - completely in line with the Charpin report. It is certainly a well presented and cogent analysis of the situation.” Hugh Wheelan