France plans supplementary scheme for 2003

FRANCE- France’s new prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, has revealed the long-awaited plans for the country’s first supplementary pension plan.

He told the French assembly that the government intends to introduce a new retirement saving plan, backed by tax incentives, in the first half of next year.

“Everyone must have the possibility of supplementing their pension with savings supported by tax incentives,” he said.

However, he said the ‘repartition’ (pay as you go) system would remain the cornerstone of France’s retirement system. “The principle of solidarity between the generations requires the safeguard of the repartition system to ensure a good income for all pensioners,” he said.

French unions have generally welcomed the statement. The CFDT said in a statement: “We are pleased that the time has come for a decision on pensions, that a timetable has been established, and that a key objective is the safeguard of the repartition system.”

However, the CGT warned that the new pension plan could threaten the repartition system. “The repartition system, which needs to be consolidated, will be weakened by the development of savings instruments that profit from high tax relief,” it said.

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