- 1440 Daily Digest
French Pension Plan Strike
Over 1 million workers yesterday held nationwide strikes against France's proposed pension overhaul, disrupting schools, transportation, and other public services (see photos).
The proposal, unveiled last week, would raise the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030. France's current retirement age is on the lower end, with age 65 being the most common in Europe (see chart). The proposal would also require at least 43 years of work, rather than 42, to qualify for a full pension starting in 2027.
President Emmanuel Macron contends the plan would preserve the pension system without raising taxes or increasing the national debt. Current workers pay for retirees' government pensions. However, analysts say the ratio of workers to retirees has decreased as people live longer and the population grows older, straining the system. The plan is estimated to raise $19B in annual pension contributions, helping the system to break even by 2027.
This is Macron's second attempt at pension reform after a separate plan in 2019 failed, following the country's longest transport strike in decades.