French Senate Oks Pension Reform Bill

July 14, 2003 ( - The French Senate has approved a provision calling for an increase in pension contribution periods and for public and private sector pension systems to be brought more in sync.

In order to claim a full pension under the Senate bill, both public and private sectors workers must contribute for 40 years as of 2008, according to an IPE report. This will increase to 41 years in 2012 and to 42 years in 2020, depending on demographic, economic and social changes.

The Senate also began talks about the 453 amendments agreed by French ministers earlier this month. The Senate will continue final decisions about the pensions bill over the course of this week.

The proposal of bringing in line public and private sector contribution periods has been the subject of intense debate between the social partners and the political parties. While the central party, UMP, voted in favor of the proposal, the parties of the left were strongly opposed. President of the communist, republic and citizen’s party, Nicole Borvo, argued that unemployment was already a problem, without keeping people in work and therefore further blocking entry to the workplace for the young.

A final version of the pensions bill is expected before September.