FRANCE - Francois Hollande, chairman of the French socialist party, has timed airing the party's plans for pension reform to coincide with a major government debate on the issue this week.
Hollande said in an interview with Le Monde yesterday that if the left were to take overall control, emphasis would be more focussed on how much workers had earned rather than the length of their employment and retirement age.
He commented that workers over the age of 55 were often disenfranchised, so a system to limit pension payments towards the traditional retirement age may prevent this declining area of the workforce.
Hollande avoided the question of private pension schemes, but went on to criticise the current system for penalising those who did not serve a full term of 40 years which includes a large part of the female workforce.
The recommendation of the 2003 Fillon reforms on French pensions is to add one year onto the 40-year term in 2008 and another in 2012.
A government committee will report later this week about how pensions will be amended over the next two years. They will debate recent changes to foreign systems, the inequality between professions and genders and private pension regimes.
Hollande, partner of President-in-waiting Segolene Royal, added that a pension system similar to the life insurance schemes favoured by French workers could be adapted to appear more attractive.
Managing people’s expectations of retirement would also be a key challenge for the left if they were to take overall power of the Assemblée.
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now.
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