Wednesday, November 10, 2010

France: Pension Reforms Signed into Law

According to press reports, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has signed into law pension reform changes that will gradually raise by two years the minimum retirement age and the fully pensionable retirement age, to 62 and 67, respectively. The signing followed immediately on the approval of those provisions by the Constitutional Council.

The Council's decision and the law are available in the Journal Officiel of November 10, 2010.

As noted in the Washington Post, this change is viewed by some outside France as only a moderate change:
Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Center for European Reform in London, says Sarkozy "had no choice" other than to get the reform through because otherwise France's - and his - credibility would have suffered.

"For anyone outside of France, this looks like a pretty modest move forward," he said. "Other EU countries are moving much much more rapidly" on pension reform.

France has the highest life expectancy in Europe but still one of the lowest retirement ages, prompting Tilford to predict that retirement issues will come up again before markets believe that France has its finances in order.

"A retirement age of 62 is still far far too low," he said.
Sources: Reuters "France's disputed pension reform becomes law" (November 10, 2010); Washington Post "Sarkozy signs the law: French retire at 62, not 60" (November 11, 2010)

No comments: