Two diametrically opposed programs. If Marine Le Pen chooses to increase public spending to fund pensions and allow early retirement for some workers, Emmanuel Macron does the opposite. He believes that it is possible to reduce pension expenses and also that it is necessary to maintain the finances of our pay-as-you-go plan. Two different visions that we find in the proposals relating to age measures, the contribution period to obtain the full rate and whether or not the special schemes are maintained.
Legal retirement age: two opposing reforms
On this question, everything is opposed to the two candidates in the second round of the presidential elections. The National Rally candidate wants to keep it at 62 and even lower it to 60 for those who started working early. On the contrary, the presidential candidate wants to raise it gradually.
The reform proposed by Marine Le Pen aims to be progressive and based on the age at which one enters the labor market. Therefore, a worker who entered working life between the ages of 17 and 20 will be able to leave with a full pension from the age of 60, provided that he has paid 160 quarters, or 40 years. For those who started working after the age of 20 and before 21.5, the statutory retirement age will gradually increase. Those who started working at 21.5 years and over will have a statutory retirement age set at 62. According to the Marine Le Pen campaign team, the cost of this measure when it comes into full effect, that is, in 2027, is € 9.6 billion.
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The proposal is totally different from that of Emmanuel Macron, who had planned from the start of the campaign to raise the statutory retirement age from 62 to 65. However, since Monday, the qualifying candidate for the second round has hinted that he could soften his reform by not raising his age … only at 64. To see what details Emmanuel Macron’s campaign team will now bring on this relief. In its first version, taking it to 65 could have resulted in an increase in the statutory retirement age of 4 months per generation. Therefore, the first generation concerned could be the one born in 1961. It would have seen its legal starting age postponed to 62.5 years. The reform could have come into effect for generations 69 and later, who could not retire before the age of 65. The campaign team had quantified the net gain from this 65-year increase to 9 billion in 2027.
In terms of age, the two candidates for the Elysée, however, agree on one point: that of canceling the discount. Today, if you haven’t paid enough quarters to get the full rate, you have to wait until age 67 to retire without discounts. Neither Marine Le Pen nor Emmanuel Macron intend to touch this age limit.
Duration of the contribution to obtain the full rate: a reduction or maintenance
When choosing a retirement date, the individuals concerned not only consider the legal retirement age, but also pay close attention to the age at which they can retire with a full pension. To get it, you must have contributed a certain number of quarters. A reform is currently underway. Called the Touraine reform, it increases the contribution period by a quarter every three generations to reach 172 quarters (or 43 years) for generations born in 1973 and after. If Emmanuel Macron is not going to touch this duration, Marine Le Pen wants to lower it according to the age at which she starts working. Therefore, if you start working between the ages of 17 and 20, you will need to have contributed 160 quarters (40 years) to get the full rate. So, if you started working between the ages of 20.5 and 23.5, the duration of the full pension exit would gradually increase by a quarter every 6 months. Finally, for those who started working at 24 and over, the contribution period to obtain the full rate would be 168 quarters (42 years), or one year less than the Touraine reform.
Difficult account redesign or cancellation
In announcing that he wanted to increase the statutory retirement age, Emmanuel Macron made it clear that not everyone would be affected by the measure. In particular, he intends to maintain the long career system that allows you to retire early if you start working before age 20. So for those who benefit from the possibility of leaving at 60, for example the active categories of the public service, the limit could be progressively raised up to 62 years.
For her part, Marine Le Pen, by fixing the starting age according to the age of entry into the world of work, therefore replaces the long career system with another formula. Believing that those who started working early are most often those who carry out so-called “difficult” jobs, he intends to put an end to the professional prevention account, which allows, according to certain criteria (night work, exposure to noise, etc.)) retire before the age of 62. Front reflection for Emmanuel Macron. By making workers work longer, she wants to allow those in jobs deemed physically or nervously strenuous to retire earlier. You propose to adapt these career goals and to negotiate these changes with the trade unions. These would be individualized difficulty criteria.
Better revaluation of pensions
Marine Le Pen intends to index pensions to inflation. If this principle is already registered in the Social Security Code, it has been the subject of numerous exceptions in recent years. Thus, in 2019, when inflation stood at 1.6%, pensions were undervalued at 0.3%. The following year those of those who earn less than 2,000 euros a month were in fact revalued in relation to inflation (+ 1%) but not so for those who earned more than 2,000 euros a month. They only saw their pensions revalued by 0.3%.
For his part, Emmanuel Macron remains on the revaluation of pensions on inflation. He offers a further boost this year, adding to the traditional January revaluation, an intermediate revaluation this summer. If the figure has not yet been specified, this increase could be around 4%.
Note that for these revaluation levels it is only the basic pension. The state does not set the conditions for the revaluation of supplementary pensions. For example, for Agirc-Arrco, a supplementary pension for private sector employees, it is the social partners who make this decision.
Increase the minimum pension
The two candidates in the second round agree to raise the minimum pension for all workers who have had a full career but received low incomes. Today it is around 950 euros. Marine Le Pen proposes to bring it to 1,000 euros. At the same time, she also wants to increase the solidarity allowance for the elderly (Aspa) to 1,000 euros, which now stands at 916.78 euros. Therefore, retirees who have had an incomplete career who receive the Aspa could receive the same level of income as those who have worked during their career. “We are well aware of the problem this poses, we breathe on the side of his campaign team, and if we win the elections, we refine these proposals.” Emmanuel Macron speaks for him only of raising the minimum pension so that it reaches 1,100 euros for those with a full career.
Special regimes: maintenance or elimination
Emmanuel Macron has said it several times, he wants to put an end to special diets. But he wants to take his time to do it by applying the so-called “grandfather clause”. Translation: only new entrants to the scheme would be affected by the abolition of the special schemes. This is what was done during the SNCF reform and could also be done for the RATP and the electricity and gas industries. In his remarks about him, Emmanuel Macron did not make it clear that he wanted to abolish all special diets. We can therefore ask ourselves whether it will affect smaller schemes such as those of the Banque de France or the Paris Opera.
Marine Le Pen is against the abolition of special schemes and intends to maintain their benefits such as early retirement for some categories.
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