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French unions give thumbs down to employers’ proposals

FRANCE – France’s trade unions have unanimously rejected the proposals by Medef designed to assist the supplementary pensions regimes, Agirc-Arrco.

The French representative body for employers, Le Mouvement des Entreprises de France (Medef) yesterday gave its proposals for helping the supplementary pensions regimes in light of the recent French pension reform.

The employer organisation proposed to increase the price of buying points (supplementary pensions are calculated base on the number of points acquired during a career). It also proposed lowering the value of the points used to calculate pensions. Medef representative, Guillaume Sarkozy claims the proposal is one of fairness, with both retirees and workers sharing the burden.

Union representatives, however, sharply rejected the proposals.

Yesterday’s meeting was the third in the consultation period which is expected to conclude 12 November. It was initially believed that the employers and employee representatives would be able to come up with proposals with relatively little effort.

Medef, the CGPME and the UPA met one month ago 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. 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 on 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.



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