Pensions: the conditions for a “compromise” are becoming clearer between the Senate and the government


” Here we are. We are there again. We are finally there. This is how…

Pensions: the conditions for a “compromise” are becoming clearer between the Senate and the government

Pensions: the conditions for a “compromise” are becoming clearer between the Senate and the government

” Here we are. We are there again. We are finally there. This is how the Minister of Labour, Olivier Dussopt, opened the general discussion in the Senate on Thursday afternoon for the examination in session of the pension reform bill . It is scheduled for the Upper House at 110 a.m., until March 12. “I know that here we debate, we respect each other. I know that here there is no ZAD, there is only the Republic”, underlined his colleague of Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal, in front of the senators with a majority on the right and the center, on which the executive intends to go through with the examination of the text – despite more than 4,700 amendments tabled – and obtain a vote on this highly contested reform.

“Here is finally this reform, so necessary, urgent, so urgent but long postponed […]. What a waste of time! “, replied the rapporteur LR René-Paul Savary while the Senate has been voting for several years to lower the legal age. What set the tone of the senatorial majority: benevolent but demanding. “The government has an objective, the senatorial majority, demands. It is necessary to make all this coincide”, moreover warned Thursday in an interview with “Figaro” the President (LR) of the Senate, Gérard Larcher , who also considered that the Senate “owes to citizens and social partners a debate on the entire text. »

System balance

This Thursday, the ministers began to “coincide” things, outlining the beginnings of an agreement. Gabriel Attal launched a “call for compromise between the senatorial majority which embodies the will for reform and the presidential majority which bears the responsibility for the reform”. “We come before us with a simple objective: to build a clear compromise for the retirement of the French,” added the Minister of Public Accounts.

The rapporteurs René-Paul Savary and Elisabeth Doineau for the Union centriste group recalled their attachment to the balance of the system. Olivier Dussopt, recognizing that “any pension reform is difficult”, too. “Budgetary balances are the basis of our system,” he said. While the senatorial majority insists on family rights, the Minister of Labor promised that the government had the “willingness to open the debate on family rights for the PLFSS 2024. But that does not prevent us from moving forward and provide answers”.

The Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, has already said, underlined Gabriel Attal, her “openness to bonuses for women” and therefore on the premium of 1.25% per quarter proposed by the rapporteurs from the age of 63 for beneficiaries of maternity or education trimesters having reached the required duration of insurance. Olivier Dussopt confirmed watching this device “with great interest”.

Additional cost

But the Minister of Public Accounts, indicating that an assessment was underway, stressed that the cost of the measure “is obviously very high”. Gabriel Attal also quantified the amendment which proposes to maintain early retirement for permanent disability at age 60 – “combined with the adjustments allowing more insured persons to be eligible presented in the initial text” – at an additional cost of “more than 250 million euros by 2030, including 100 million for the pension system”. Apart from the cost, the government is reluctant to break the logic of bringing together the different reasons for early departure (incapacity, incapacity, invalidity, etc.) and make them possible two years before the legal retirement age.

Similarly, the Minister of Public Accounts estimated at just over 100 million in 2030 the fact of authorizing phased retirement at 60 and not 62. If he said he understood the intentions of senators on the senior contract for employees aged at least 60, his “first provisional costing” at 800 million euros, leaves little chance of a follow-up.

All this to say that if the government is open, choices will have to be made. The senators are keen on their device on women and on balance. More than excessive concessions on long careers. On the subject, Olivier Dussopt warned that he would again present his amendment which includes “those who started working before the age of 21. Without this “distorting the system whose principle is that the contribution period is a minimum, a floor, without ever having been a ceiling”. This must be able to suit LR senators. Less to some of the LR deputies.

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