FRANCE - The French minister of labour said he would publish a ministerial order to extend the length for contributions for people born in 1955 before year-end, after a new report revealed that life expectancy was increasing at a higher rate than previously estimated.

As expected, the Conseil d'Orientation des Retraites (COR), which monitors the French retirement system and puts forward recommendations for public policy concerning retirement, yesterday recommended increasing the length for contributions for people born in 1955.

Labour minister Xavier Bertrand made the case for such reform and said he wanted to publish a ministerial order rapidly, probably in the coming weeks.  

The move comes after the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) revealed that life expectancy was growing at a high rate. 

In March 2010, COR estimated that life expectancy for people born in 1955 (from 60 years of age) would be 24.07 years.
However, the INSEE said this estimation had to be adjusted. It believes life expectancy has increased to 24.42 years, an increase of two months compared with the 24.07 years noted for the generation born in 1954.

The new measure will follow the rules introduced by the Fillon law in 2003, which dictated that the length for contributions had to increase in relation to life expectancy.

Therefore, the generation born in 1955 who will turn 60 in 2015,will have to contribute to the pension system for 166 trimesters in total.

Last week, people born in 1953 and 1954 already saw their retirement age pushed back to 61 years and 61 years and four months, respectively, with a minimum length of contributions of 165 trimesters.