France Lowers Retirement Age for Some Workers
06 June 2012 (PLANSPONSOREurope.com) - France's new Socialist government has agreed to lower its retirement age from 62 to 60 for some workers.
The Local.fr reports the decree, cutting the age limit for people who begin their careers at the age of 18, was agreed on at a cabinet meeting, Social Affairs Minister Marisol Touraine told reporters as she left the meeting.
It will be finalised before the end of June before being published in France's official gazette.
Touraine said next year around 110,000 people are expected to benefit from the measure at an estimated cost of €1.1bn, an amount anticipated to rise to €3bn a year by 2017.
She added up to six months of unemployment and six months of maternity leave can be included in the calculation of the amount of time a worker has to pay into pension funds to benefit from retirement at 60.
This system means that "women who worked and who had children will not be penalised in the calculation of their pension” and tthe project will be financed by a 0.1 percentage point rise in worker and employer contributions.
Touraine said that the new decree, which goes against the current of pension reform in Europe, was "a measure of justice which concerns those who were penalised most by the reform of 2010".
Previous president Sarkozy had increased France's retirement age that year from 60 to 62 despite months of protests that brought millions onto the streets.
Under the new system, workers who begin their careers at 18 will be able to retire if they have paid into state pension plans for 41 years or 41.5 years, depending on their year of birth.