the levers suggested by Franois Bayrou

The High Commission for Planning, led by the boss of the MoDem Franois Bayrou, released a note on pensions on Thursday proposing several levers including a postponement of the age of departure and an extension of the duration of contributions.

Based on the analyzes already published by the Pensions Orientation Council (COR), the Pensions Monitoring Committee (CSR) and France Stratgie, Mr. Bayrou considers that the future of pension schemes calls for an open debate so that public opinion can take a clear position, according to this note published by Le Figaro Thursday, of which AFP obtained a copy. The ally of the majority also asked, during a dinner Wednesday evening at the lysium, to do more pedagogy.

The details of the pension reform, which will be presented next week, are taking shape: the government wants to stay the course on a 65-year-old departure. He plans to use a budget text to pass the reform, which would allow him to eventually use the constitutional weapon of 49.3.

All the unions are hostile to it and are threatening a big day of mobilization in January. Our pension system risks seeing its financial balance increasingly weakened and, by continually increasing our debt, weighing more and more on the country’s economic capacity and its independence, believes Mr. Bayrou.

Over the next 25 years, with no prospect of reforms, the demographic evolution of the various pension schemes will lead, with the economic hypotheses proposed by the COR (7% unemployment rate and 1% annual productivity gain), to an average deficit of 2.1% of the GDP, which would raise the question of the sustainability of the regimes, specifies the note.

The levers of the High Planning Commission

To reduce this deficit, the High Commission for Planning mentioned several levers, but without interfering with the consultations with the social partners, which end on Friday. It does not include an increase or creation of taxes, and also rejects, like the government, the idea of ​​lowering pensions, a powerful factor of social disintegration.

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On the other hand, a postponement of the retirement age – two scenarios of 64 or 64.2 years are mentioned – and an extension of the contribution period would be a powerful lever for improving the financial balance of the schemes, generating between 10 and 20 billion euros, which represents around a third of the annual financing requirement by 2047.

Another avenue would be to increase employer pension contributions by one point, which would drop from 16.5% to 17.5% of gross salary, bringing 7.5 billion euros, or around 15% of the financing requirement. Finally, moving towards full employment, with 1.5 million additional jobs, would produce 10 billion euros, or 20% of the financing requirement.

The High Commissioner also suggests increasing the average annual rate of productivity gain to 1.3%, provided that the proposals of the National Productivity Council are implemented.

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