The two candidates disagree on the retirement age, but agree on the revaluation of pensions. Le Figaro takes stock of their proposals.
Although they are no longer among the main concerns of the French according to the latest polls, supplanted by purchasing power, health or safety, pensions are shaping up to be one of the main themes of the campaign among -two laps between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. While the two presidential finalists agree on the need to raise the standard of living for seniors, they present opposing proposals on the retirement age.
“Pensions are a must for any presidential candidate“says Victor Poirier, director of publications at the Institut Montaigne. “It is a political subject, because pensioners are one of the populations who vote the most, but also a subject of public expenditure, pensions representing 14% of GDP. And then it’s a subject that fascinates and worries the French, including the youngest», Analyzes the head of the liberal think tank. What do Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen actually offer? Le Figaro make the point.
Starting age, the great divide
This is one of Emmanuel Macron’s flagship proposals, but also one of the most divisive. In the program of the president-candidate (La République en Marche) is the gradual decline in the legal retirement age to 65, compared to 62 today. A financial necessity, intended to fill the deficit of the system, according to the current tenant of the Élysée. This measure would be part of a broader pension reform, aimed at creating “a universal diet simpler, only for future generations”, which would include the abolition of the main special schemes and the consideration of long careers and the arduous nature of the professions.
Monday evening, on BFMTV, Emmanuel Macron said to himself “ready to discuss pace and boundaries” of this measurement. He did not rule out a referendum, and said “to open the doorat a starting age of 64 rather than 65. A position reinforced by Jean Castex on Tuesday morning on RTL. Yes “consultation is needed“, in particular on the question “pace, long careers…“, indicated the Prime Minister, on the other hand the retreat is seen as inevitable. Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told CNews on Tuesday that he preferred a compromise or an agreement on pension reform to a referendum on this subject.
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For her part, Marine Le Pen rejects any extension of the retirement age. The candidate of the National Rally (RN) undertakes to maintain the legal age at 62 years maximum, but wishes to create a more favorable regime for those who entered the working life at the youngest. People who started working before the age of 20 and who have 40 annual contributions could leave at age 60. For those who entered the labor market between the ages of 20 and 24 and a half, Marine Le Pen offers a progressive system spanning between 160 and 168 quarters. For others, the current rules would not change.
This starting age question is “an explosive subjectobserves Jean Grosset, director of the Observatory of social dialogue at the Jean-Jaurès Foundation. “In particular, it raises the problem of keeping seniors in work», Analyzes the expert of the think tank classified on the left. “The financing aspect is also central», adds Victor Poirier, from the Institut Montaigne. According to him, “this is going to be an important topic in the in-between rounds, as it is one of the ideological clashes between the two programs. The key will be in the explanation of why one wants to increase the starting age, and the other to lower it“.
Neighboring projects for the revaluation of pensions
“Guaranteeing our seniors a peaceful and dignified retirementfor Marine Le Pen. “aging wellfor Emmanuel Macron. Under these two names hide related projects to improve the standard of living of retirees. To do this, the presidential finalists both propose to index pensions to inflation. “From this summer“, promised Emmanuel Macron on TF1 last week. “It is not an extraordinary invention. This is a necessary measure in a context where purchasing power is a real problem.», comments Jean Grosset, of the Jean-Jaurès Foundation.
On the level of pensions, the LREM candidate is in favor of a floor, for full careers, set at 1100 euros per month. Marine Le Pen, she wants to revalue the minimum old age, become solidarity allowance for the elderly (Aspa), to bring it to 1000 euros per month (against 916.78 euros per month today for a single person). She also says she wantsincrease small pensions“. Always in the perspective ofimprove the standard of living of our seniors“, Marine Le Pen wishes to reinstate the additional tax half allocated to widows and widowers.
Measures forpreparing for retirement» at Macron
Emmanuel Macron’s program also contains measures intended to “preparing for retirementin other words to encourage a smooth transition between activity and retirement. The president-candidate wants to promote the accumulation of employment and retirement by making it “simpler and more advantageous“, and create a paid support service for older workers, for French people close to retirement or retired”who wish to share their experience with society (help with homework, setting up a project, transmission of know-how, etc.)“.
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