France Moves to Raise Minimum Age of Retirement

The lower house of Parliament voted to raise the age from 60 to 62, a highly contested measure that is a pillar of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s agenda.

Comments: 26

  1. Can't afford it, people.. If the French want to retire at 60, then they need to realize that with lengthening lifespans they need to reduce their payments or agree to a cap. It's conceivable that French pensioners will run out of retirement money long before they pass if they don't adjust their pension rules. We should do the same - raise the age at which people can retire with full benefits and index the rise to average lifespan. It's the only fair way to provide for the future, unless we can agree to higher SSDI taxes which isn't likely.

  2. European conservative social contrats are like Blue Dog Democrats. They are just more compassionate and caring with health care and the penion they get, which is often higher than what they got when they worked. USA needs to get on board-FAST!

  3. It's part of the New World Order, pushed and promoted the G H W Bush
    Bring in low pay immigrants and reduce the standard of living for the
    working classes.

  4. #1 - Just because the French move their retirement age up does not mean we have to or should or use them as an excuse to move it up.

    Even, with their new retirement age of 62, the French will get six more years of retirement than we get here.

    Our retirement age is 65. The French life expectancy is three more years (81 years) than ours. The French can expect 19 years of retirement, from 62 to 81 while we can expect 13 years, from 65 to 78.

  5. Lengthening life spans. Fine. I agree. Life after 60 is still not comparable to life after 40 or 50. It gets tougher notwithstanding a longer lifespan. Given the obvious parameters, one should be able to retire, or continue to work, as he or she so desires, at age 60. They should have the option. Barring chronic illness or fatal accidents, the 40-50 year old crowd may have 30-40 more years of life. The 60 year old has perhaps 20 years to look forward to. And it’s not as if they want to retire at that age so that they can train for the X Games or the Olympics.

    Our relative systems of government and the workplace should have by now, in the 21st century, at least achieved the placing of this bar. A contributing factor in living longer was the evolvement via union action of the 8 hour workday down from 16, paid vacation time, paid sick days, paid bereavement time, safe work-place, paid health care, more leisure time, etc. Working… but working less, and in a less stressful environment. Ergo… quality of life. Our politicians certainly have it. They aren’t worried about how the pay for the hospital visit when they are 60 and up… whether they are “working” at that time or not.

    This is not an advocacy for sloth or gold-bricking. One works for 40+ years, and then hopefully gets to have a modest enjoyment of the last 20. The following applies to most of the people on the planet:

    Do you want to see “yourself“, “your” parents, or “your” loved ones, having no other option but to work through their senior years, because, if they don’t, they will literally be homeless or worse. You might say, “Well, let their families take them in!” Bur what if there are no families, or if those families are in the same predicament. And even if there is a family to take them in… is this really the answer? The quality of life for our seniors, and how we treat them, is a litmus test determining just at what level of civilization that we, as a purported intelligent and decent species, has really achieved.

  6. The sounds of running feet as thousands of sixty year old French people rush
    to their grocery stores to purchase and stockpile "escargo helper" before
    the prices raise. Has Inspector Cluseaux been assigned to this nefarious case? Catherine DeNeuve should have replaced Sarkozy long ago....she's no
    better at decisions perhaps, but a LOT better to look at.

  7. "feisty" labor unions? As if these were not matters of the gravest importance and urgency...

  8. France has the right idea. Time to change our retirement age to 62 as well.

  9. It is times like these that I am so glad to be living and working in this country wherein one's retirement age is dictated not by the state but rather by the individual.

    As all of us are aware, the government program of Social Security which is scaled by age cannot by itself support anyone during their retirement years. You as an individually, not some massive government program, must take the action of saving should you wish to enjoy your golden years.

    The younger class should take note that with a combination of hard work, fiscal discipline and a little bit of luck, you can make your own retirement age decision rather than having some government bureaucrat make it for you.

  10. Well France can either take a gallic shrug and say "Je ne sais pas - non" or bite the bullet like the rest of us. None of us like doing it, but reality really does bite, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

  11. DarrylS, I agree with you that the French can look forward to more retirement time on average than we can, but the U.S. retirement age is only 65 if you were born before 1938. It is gradually being raised. If you were born from 1943 to 1954, it is 66. If, like me, you were born after 1960, it is 67 for full retirement (the early, partial retirement at age 62 is still available). Sorry people of France, I have little sympathy.

  12. Personally, I think, French people have reason, even if I'm agree on put up the age for retreat.

    French country is not the exception but shall be the norm for all the other country, cause you can imagine that 5.000 persons in the world are billionaire at least, and in the same time you have 4.5 billion of people who can't afford to live decently ?! So, it's normal that French people defends their rights, cause nobody will do for them, and again for yours who might read this comment...

    I'm agree nevertheless because there is not a good reason for only the youngest generation pay for the contributions. But all the problem is the employment ! If the Seniors have a job or not...

    Because, if in several years, the crises goes on, it won't help us to have to work later.

    The other problem is N. Sarkozy touches only the middle class and is going to raze it for its friends Bouygues Construction and Bollore Communication, dividing poor people with middle class, and not creating employment in an other part.

    In fact, it was sure that reform passes cause a majority of people have voted for him 3 years ago, and they are afraid to move in the streets for rejecting it. An other reason is that lot of people are aware about the necessity for harmonize with the rest of other countries in the world.
    The fact is it's not necessary to harmonize with the other countries if you don't have jobs...And again, he has done nothing for our economy except for its friends artist with the Hadopi project, that you can verify on wikipedia, is completely useless cause it does not concern for instance the streaming.

    So, let's go and wait and see. He has done the minimal reform, we're waiting for the jobs, right now. But he gives only the good places to his friends, like on France TV, EDF, and next AREVA... So what, what'll we become in the near future when you see that the European Union is affecting all its resources to the reduction of the deficits and not to the increase of Economy ? When you imagine that 2 years ago, all the banks risked to make bankruptcy and now, they make benefits in billions whereas all the people must pay on their contributions and with the destructing of jobs... All the costs have increased and now for this "soi-disant" reduction of deficits, we have to "tighten the belts" but not the banks...they goes on on their quality of life, and moreover reducing their costs and the possibility that we have.

  13. Raise it to 65 and at the same time expect that people will work 8 hours a day!

  14. No matter what the retirement age in a given country, if it's raised, people are going to protest. That's understandable, because they've taken it for granted and come to expect it. My grandfather was able to retire at (fill in blank), so why shouldn't I be able to retire at that age as well.

    Back when countries set the age for retirement (when they set up their own statutory retirement systems), a greater proportion of jobs required exhausting labor in fields, factories, and trades. Retirement at sixty was not exactly indulgent.

    Which brings us to the more important problem facing the American social security system today: while there are clearly occupations/professions in which one can work effectively to age 70 and beyond, and more Americans than before are in these occupations, we still have the ones that take an earlier toll on the body. This must be taken into account when weighing fairness to the worker against the sustainability of the system.

    Now add increasing unemployment even among those who are fit to work longer, and the society is really between a rock and a hard place.

  15. My retirement age became 62 by virtue of an economy that dramatically slowed my business and gave me no choice but to take the early option and a big benefits cut. It's not enough and I'll have to keep working, if any of the work I do is available, until I drop. If I were a French citizen I'd be getting full benefits. Hard to feel sorry for them.

  16. Steve # 8 writes: France has the right idea. Time to change our retirement age to 62 as well.

    Steve, it appears that you are advocating LOWERING our current retirement age. Was that your intention?

  17. If you have to go to a gym to exercise, you have no right to call yourself a working man. Try really working before you decide what the retirement age should be. "I had to work while getting my Masters degree" doesn't cut it. See when your shoulders and knees start giving out from work, not tennis or jogging.

  18. I have worked, retired, and went back to work (part-time). Retirement is great as long as you are young enough and can afford to really enjoy it. I retired from civil service at 60, was retired for 5 years (some of the best, most enjoyable years of my life - because I was young enough to be able to enjoy it), and have gone back to work as a contractor 20 hrs per week (still not like a full job, but not really retirement). In my opinion, we should be able to retire at 55, enjoy ourselves until 70, when we would then go back to the workforce to some ripe old age or die. Heck, I can tell you that life is less exciting at 70, and work would be a good social way to go out vs. sitting in a rocking chair watching Jeopardy, so, why not work!
    Ah, but to enjoy life 55-70 when you are "old" enough to know what you want, and still "young" enough to actually do it...... now, that's sweet.

  19. For those who critic French Country for the time of the work by week, don't forget that we have the best productivity in the world ! So try to find an other argument...


  20. Hey, France. Welcome to the race to the bottom! But we'll get there before you so you'll have company.

  21. The new pension rules don't take into account the "pénibilité" (i.e. painfulness) of jobs. Many jobs wear down human beings fast: factory, construction workers, nurses, ruthlessly driven into early graves by the
    french mania for "productivity". I have friend nurses reduced to rag dolls reaching the age of 55. Maybe it's not as bad in the US. You tell me !

  22. A. Benares-- "The new pension rules don't take into account the "pénibilité" (i.e. painfulness) of jobs. Many jobs wear down human beings fast: factory, construction workers, nurses, ruthlessly driven into early graves by the french mania for "productivity". I have friend nurses reduced to rag dolls reaching the age of 55. Maybe it's not as bad in the US. You tell me !"
    There is a stipulation in the legislation Sarkozy has proposed- to make exceptions for people who work more difficult jobs...Not that it will solve everyone's problems but it deals exactly with what you were saying.

  23. Another option is to let people choose a fixed number of years to be entitled to retirement benefits. For example, one can be entitled for 20 years. Whether the person wants to take them from 60 to 80, 65 to 85, or 70 to 90 is that individual's choice.

    If someone burns through benefits by 80 and still needs them, the government will still need to provide the benefits beyond 20 years from a humane perspective. To balance this constrain, people who refuse to take retirement benefits early can be given a bonus. For example, if you choose to get benefits from 60 to 80, you get 2K worth of services per month. If you choose to get benefits from 70 to 90 you get 3K worth of services per year.

  24. Todd #16: Irony alert!

  25. In the US, the retirement age is about 50- nobody will hire you after that- even though the average job lasts about 5 years- if that. It's some sort of corporate-schizophrenia thing. 'Course, the "retiree" will not receive anything even though all he/she wants to do is work.

  26. #19, France has the best productivity in the world? Hahahaha hahahahaha hahahahahahahahahaha. I've lived in France for about two years, and (just as examples) the simplest transaction at the bank takes weeks at best, the CAF (housing assistance) took no less than 7 months, and don't even get me started with health care assistance. I was in Paris during the strikes about the retirement age and I am with those who say that France needs to just accept the new retirement age. The most compelling argument I've heard against the change is that the rich are not taxed as much as they could/should be and forcing manual laborers to work longer is not fair.

    That bit about productivity though, that's just funny.