French retire en masse before new law kicks in

Almost 100,000 people in France have asked to retire before the statutory retirement age of 60, following reforms of the French pension system introduced in January.

The CFDT, one of the two larger union federations reports that 95,000 people have registered with the Caisse Nationale D'assurance Vieillesse (CNAV), to retire before 60.

Under the new decree people can retire at age 56, 57 or 58 if they began work at the age of 14, 15 or 16 respectively. People who began their professional career aged 14, 15, 16 or 17 can retire at 59.

Currently 75,000 people are eligible for retirement before 60, including 26,000 who have already taken early retirement. The CFDT estimates that, over the year, 200 000 private sector employees will become eligible, extending to 500 000 over the next five next years.

Jean-Marie Toulisse, national secretary of the CFDT, said: “The CFDT will ensure month after month, that the 200, 000 salaried workers entitled to claim this measure of social justice will be able to benefit from it this year.’

The CFDT is also negotiating with the French government to extend early retirement to employees in the public sector.

“In our discussions with the government in April, we will fight to extend the entitlement to the public sector workers, many of whom worked in the private sector before becoming public servants, ” Toulisse said.

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