Reforming the French Pension System: Social Choices and Policy Challenges
CA : University of Toronto Press
The French pension system is a public, pay-as-you-go, generous system. The need for a reform started to be debated in 1990. Two extreme solutions were rejected: financing rising expenditure through higher social contributions, and cutting significantly public pensions while promoting private pension funds. In 2003, the government introduced a reform cutting slightly the level of pensions, giving limited tax incentives for retirement savings and counting mainly on the postponement of the retirement age to ensure the future funding of the system. Is the reform the conclusion of a democratic process designed to meet a social choice, or is it a decision of the dominant class imposed on employees? Will the French economy be able reach full employment and raise the participation rate of the 55 to 65 year-old?