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The Frenchman is undecided about retiring at the age of 64. How do other countries compare? , cnn business

London CNN –

A nationwide strike in France to protest against an increase in the retirement age drew more than a million people to the streets on Thursday before ending in violent clashes with police in Paris and other cities.

The protest was followed by a strike of similar magnitude in January and interspersed with smaller walkouts and demonstrations. And more industrial action is planned for next week.

What is angering the French so much is a new retirement age that will still be one of the lowest in the industrialized world.

Under a new law, which was passed in parliament without a vote last week, the retirement age for most French workers will be raised from 62 to 64.

This would still place France below the norm in Europe and many other developed economies, where the age for full pension benefits to apply is 65 and is rapidly moving towards 67.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, the retirement age is between 66 and 67, depending on the year you were born. Current legislation envisages a further increase from 67 to 68 in the UK between 2044 and 2046 (although the timing of this increase is under review and could change).

The state pension in France is also more generous than elsewhere. At about 14% of GDP in 2018, the country’s spending on state pensions is larger than most other countries, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The French government has defended retirement reform – which includes other changes – as necessary to keep the pension system funded. Taxes on current workers pay for retirees’ benefits, and as people live longer and more baby boomers retire the system will eventually go bankrupt.

Funding of pension systems is a concern in many developed economies.

“Government agencies predict massive deficits in the coming years, as boomers continue to retire, and they need to make changes very quickly – or else they will lose money to invest in other things.” Will give,” Renaud Foucault, a senior economics lecturer at Lancaster University in England, told CNN in January when the French plan was proposed.

According to Foucault, pension reform is seen as a “taboo” in France.


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