PM unveils plans to ease proposed pension reforms

06 Feb 2023

The prime minister of France, Elisabeth Borne unveiled proposals to tone down a planned overhaul of the pension system, allowing some people who started work early to retire early.

The move is a bid to gain support from conservatives for the reform in parliament.

The French government is planning to hike the retirement age by two years to 64, and lengthen the time workers have to pay in, within a reform it says is essential to keep the system out of the red in future years.

Since President Emmanuel Macron's party lost its absolute majority in 2022, in order to pass the reform in parliament, the government needs votes from the Les Republicains party, Reuters reports.

Although those who started work before the age of 20 would be permitted to leave work early within the reform, the prime minister said she was open to recommendations from conservatives to benefit more workers.

“We are going to move by extending the measure for long careers to those who started working at 20 and 21. They will be able to retire at 63,” the PM said during an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche.

A Republicains spokesperson, Pierre-Henri Dumont said the easing of the planned reforms weren’t sufficient to win the party’s support.

The prime minister said the move would impact as many as 30,000 people and cost as much as €1 billion annually, meaning a financing source would need to be found, the Reuters report adds.

Dumont went on to say that an alternative modification suggested by his party would benefit “hundreds of thousands’ of people every year.

The government has already faced two days of nationwide strike action since the reforms were unveiled last month, with more planned for Tuesday.