breaking news: Prime Minister Borne makes a first concession

In today’s JDD (Journal du Dimanche), a French weekly newspaper published on Sundays, the Prime Minister announced that those who started working between the ages of 20 and 21 will be able to retire at age 63. “It’s a measure that will cost between 600 million and one billion euros per year and will affect up to 30,000 people per year,” she said. “We hear the demand of right-wing elected officials on long careers.” Debates on the bill begin Monday in the National Assembly.

Continuing from my post of the other day, here’s another reason why 70 percent of the French population opposes the reforms: Women are the big losers. The salary and career inequalities experienced by women throughout their working life have repercussions on the amount of pensions they receive and their retirement age.

The amount of pensions paid to women is 40% lower than that paid to men, a problem which the current reform ignores. There exists a flagrant inequality between men and women: the average male retiree receives €1,924 per month, while the average female retiree receives €1,145.

While women’s salaries are on average 22% lower than those of men (INSEE 2022), their direct pensions are 40% lower than those of men. Retirement therefore further amplifies wage inequality. 20% of working women must wait until age 67 to retire, compared to 10% for men. When our leaders are questioned about these pension inequalities, the classic answer is that they are reduced over time. In reality, they are stagnating, just as wage inequalities are stagnating. (source: Le Monde)

Who doesn’t fear poverty? I know I do. I must work until I am 67 before I qualify for full pension. Why? Because I came to France late and didn’t start working (and contributing to the obligatory pension fund through my paychecks) until I was in my thirties. Thank goodness I have a job I love. Believe me, I am grateful. BUT, I have never received a high salary and during the early years I had gaps of unemployment, so my monthly pension won’t be high.

The poverty rate of retired women is significantly higher than that of men (10.4% against 8.5%), and this gap has tended to widen since 2012, as noted in the 2022 report of the Pensions Orientation Council.


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