France: "stay on the job until 62 to collect a full state pension"

France Makes Crucial Move to Raise Age of Retirement


Despite vocal protests, French lawmakers approved President Nicolas Sarkozy's sweeping retirement reforms Wednesday, including a highly contested measure to increase the retirement age from 60 to 62.

The National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, voted 329-233 to pass the broad retirement package, clearing a crucial first legislative hurdle and sending it onto the Senate for debate starting Oct. 1.

The retirement reforms are one of the pillars of Sarkozy's conservative agenda and a prime target of France's powerful unions. Wednesday's vote puts France on track to become the latest European Union country to require workers to stay on the job longer because of a deficit-plagued pension system.


The central and most controversial reform requires workers to stay on the job until 62 to collect a full state pension.

Even then, France would still have one of the lowest retirement ages in Europe. In contrast, Germany recently raised its retirement age from 65 to 67 to offset a shrinking, aging population, and the U.S. is also gradually raising its retirement age to 67.

Comment: In the US, retire at 62 and one's Social Security is 75% of what it would be at full retirement.

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