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France, retirement age. The government is preparing a reform, trade unionists are threatening to protest

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France spends 14.8 percent of GDP on pensions, which is more than the vast majority of its neighbors, and the retirement age (62) is one of the lowest among European Union countries. The French end their working lives on average at the age of 62.3, the AFP agency reported on Tuesday, citing data from the European Commission.

Prime Minister France Elisabeth Borne presented on Tuesday a plan to reform the pension system, which, according to observers, may cause mass protests, despite the fact that according to EC data, French pension solutions are particularly expensive for the state and much more convenient for citizens than in other EU countries.

In GermanyItaly Denmarkand soon also in Spain the retirement age is 67 and in the UK it is 66.

Citizens of Luxembourg leave the labor force the earliest – on average at the age of 60.2, and the latest Italians – 65.5 years, Germans – 64.6 years, Portuguese – 64.3 years. On average, EU residents retire at the age of 63.8.

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Retirement expenses

The average French pension is 54.4 percent. their last salary, while the average for all EU countries is 46.2 percent. last salary. However, in Spain it is 77 percent. last paycheck, in Portugal – 74 per cent, and in Italy – 66.9 per cent.

In the EU, only Greece and Italy spend more on pensions than France, 15.7% and 15.7% respectively. and 15.4 percent GDP. Spending below the EU average of 11.6 percent. GDP, Poland – 10.6 percent, Germany – 10.3 percent. and Romania – 8.1 percent, while Ireland spends the least – 4.6 percent. GDP.

The Prime Minister of France announces changes

The government’s pension reform plan is the flagship project of President Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign. The current retirement age of 62 is to be raised to 64 by 2030.

– I am well aware that the change in our pension system raises fears and questions among the French – said Prime Minister of France Elisabeth Borne during a press conference and stressed that the government’s task would be to gain public approval for the reform.

The government will have to rely on the votes of the opposition center-right Republicans (LR) party when voting on the bill in parliament, as it does not have a sufficient majority to pass it with the votes of the ruling coalition. However, LR deputies are divided on the issue and Prime Minister Borne cannot count on them all to support the pension bill, Reuters points out.

Unionists against the reform

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that even the most moderate French unions have opted for strikes if the retirement age is raised above 62.

For more than 30 years, successive French governments have been trying to push through pension reform, which invariably leads to paralyzing demonstrations in the country. Macron, who intended to implement these changes in 2020, postponed them due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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