To defend its pension reform, which would lower the legal retirement age from 62 to 64, the government is highlighting a clear benefit that will benefit half the population: women. These will be better later. “protected” and even “the first recipients of the revaluation of small pensions“, assured Elizabeth Borne on Tuesday in the National Assembly. Conversely, various opponents of the reform are screaming injustice, arguing that this bill will force women to retire later on average, only men.
Today it is observed that women “have a less favorable career than men and have fewer pension rights”, as recalled by the Board of Retirement Orientation (COR) in a 2022 report. And this is for several reasons, including part-time work that affects them more, or lower pay than men. Will the reform help reduce this disparity in retirement? The government has just conducted a reform impact study to assess the main impacts of the reform on various categories of workers. Explanations.
Will they last longer?
According to the National Insurance Fund for Old Age (CNAV), in 2021, the average retirement age for direct entitlements under the general scheme was 62.9 years. It was slightly higher for women: 63.2 years versus 62.7 years for men. With the reform, everyone will leave later than today, with the exception of the disabled or incapacitated and those who leave already at 67, without a discount. This means that both women and men will work longer “1 month average for the 1962 generation and 6 months for the 196 generation6,” the government said in a statement.
But this “average growth is more pronounced in women (+7 months) than in men (+5 months)”. It should be noted that women born in 1972, most taken as an example, will have to work an additional nine months on average, compared with only five months for men born in the same year. Those born in 1980 will leave eight months later than today… compared to half as many men. Another appeal that Frank Riester, Minister for Relations with Parliament, himself acknowledged in the Public Sénat, explaining that women would “fined” by raising the retirement age.
Will they touch more than before?
If women leave later than men on average, they will also receive more than they do today. And this is compared to men. Moreover, this is one of the main arguments put forward by the executive branch: women will have their own “improved pension, double the average for men”echoed Gabriel Attal, Minister of Public Accounts, on Tuesday 24 January at the LCI. With the aim of, in the end, reduce the gender pension gap. In 2020, this gap was estimated at 40% for direct pensions, according to the DREE data we cite here.
According to a government report, “The average pension will increase by 0.3% for the generation born in 1962, by 0.6% for those born in 1966, and by 1.5% for the generation of 1972.” With a much bigger improvement for women due to the reassessment of the minimum pension, which affects them more than men: “+1% for the 1966 generation and +2.2% for the following generations versus +0.2% and +0.9% respectively for men.” Developments that are twice as important, but that remain “very weak” notes Michael Zemmour, lecturer in economics at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, TF1info.
Are other things changing?
Yes, because some women will be able to leave earlier, from the age of 62, thanks to the allowance for parental leave. specifically“these periods of parental leave will count up to 4 quarters towards the length of leave under the long-term career scheme”, summarizes the government study. This change brought about by the reform, “A 5% increase in the number of women eligible for this scheme: thus among the generation of 1966 between 2,000 and 3,000 women will be able to benefit from the RACL scheme, although they would not have been eligible without this measure (compared to 200 men)” .
However, a consideration that only benefits a few women each year is emphasized by Michael Zemmour: “This is certainly positive, but very cosmetic. The reform rather increases gender inequality. The government thinks it’s 3,000 per generation, and the women’s generation is 400,000.”
Who gets the biggest advantage?
Thus, women will be in a more or less advantageous position than men? The project seems like a double-edged sword for the latter, who will certainly receive more, but they will also have to work longer. Furthermore, “Maintaining the discount cancellation age at 67” they would be more “favorable” as they”twice as likely to have to wait until this age due to a career break”according to government research. “Most of the savings from the reform are being spent on people who could have left at 62 and who will have to leave at 64,” recalls, however, Michael Zemmour. “And most of them are women.
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