Starting in 2027, a French person will have to have worked for 43 years to receive full state pension benefits. Raising the retirement age to 64 will keep France below the norm in Europe and in many other developed economies. UK pensions when full pension benefits apply is “66 and increasingly moving towards 68” according to information on the DWP website. For a full UK pension, an average of 35 full years must have been contributed into the national insurance system.
You’re never to young to prepare for retirement
“There are a lot of young people here. People think this subject does not concern us, but in fact, it does”.Shola, a political science student in Paris, during the protests last week. Source: Euronews
The French pension payable may be €1,400 after taxes, irrespective of gender. At today’s exchange rate of around €1.12 to the Pound Sterling, that’s about £1,200 per month. This compared to the proposed 2023 UK state pension of £815.40 per month seems quite generous. But French income and corporate tax is higher than in the UK. So maybe that’s how it’s paid for.
“If our grandparents will now have to work longer (for another 24 months), we know that things will get worse because, basically, that’s the path we’ve been taking for the last 20 years with increasingly liberal policies that respond to capitalism, meanwhile the youth have decided that it’s the people who count above.”Source CNN news
What about les Anglo-Saxons?
In the United States and the United Kingdom, the retirement age is between 66 and 67, depending on the year in which you were born. Current legislation proposals set a gradual rise to 68 in Britain between 2024 and 2025, although that is being reviewed and could change.
So, work on, walk on etc… Currently, in the UK we become pensionable at 66, for both men and women. This could rise to 68 in the next tax year apparently. So, we are ‘older’ not perhaps ‘mature’ as the 56-year-old Chancellor Jeremy Hunt claimed in his recent budget statement. But we could be regarded as ‘old’ according to Lewis Carroll. So, we potentially become pensioners before time and the ending of our useful, employable lives.
At least now, we are no longer required to note our ages or genders on job applications so perhaps some progress there for anyone wanting to work on.
The French way of working … and resting
French productivity is reported to be higher than data in the UK. This is in spite of a lifestyle which suggests starting work at 08.00 but pausing at 12.00 until 14.00 or 14.30. Work finishes at 17.00 or at the latest 18.00. Mondays in France are not workable, as very few businesses or local council offices are open on Mondays. I can’t prove this but it’s my personal experience of spending much time in France.
Tough love from M. le Président
The French working people are now required by an exceptional Constitutional Act enacted by President Emmanuel Macron (despite two narrowly won confidence votes last week in the French parliament) to work for 24 months more (ie 62 to 64 years old) to benefit from a full State Pension. Tough love. As an activist said in a Sky News report last week, existing state pensions
“could easily be financed at a retirement age of 62 if more women with very young children were able to return to work early, paying their taxes from their incomes and if there was less unemployment in France”.
Meanwhile, activists in Paris trash « La Place de la Concorde » (maybe a misnomer for peace and tranquillity), the site of many executions including the guillotining of Marie Antoinette, to protest a 24-month increase in their working lives to receive a full state pension. Will their love of protests (remember the storming of the Bastille in 1789 and the student riots of 1968) lead to keeping retirement to 62 or could this lead to the constitutional removal of their President? On verra… (we shall see…)