ASISP Annual National Report 2013: Pensions, Health and Long-Term Care. France
Bruxelles : European Commission
35 p.
Executive Summary Pension reform has again been high on the political agenda in France in 2013. In the winter of 2013-2014, the Ayrault government introduced a new pension reform which included: an increase in employee and employer contributions, a gradual increase in the minimum contribution required for a full pension from 41.5 years for people born in 1955 to 43 years for people born in 1973, the creation of a personal account for the prevention of hard working conditions (compte personnel de prévention de la pénibilité) as well as a series of changes aimed at improving pension adequacy for women, youths and workers employed in non-standard forms of employment. Despite these compensatory measures and despite suggestions by recent official reports that replacement rates cannot be expected to decline dramatically in the future, this new reform will make it harder for workers to reach the minimum contribution period required to get a full pension. Both the official projections of replacement rates and the government’s calculations about the long-term financial situation of public pension schemes are based on very optimistic macro-economic assumptions (for example regarding the level of growth and of unemployment). It is clear that more reforms will be needed in the future. Promoting longer working lives should be a priority both in order to ensure the sustainability and the adequacy of pensions. In this context, it would seem reasonable to increase the statutory retirement age – and reform it by transforming it into a flexibile, and not a minimum, retirement age – so as to send a clear signal both to employers and employees that they will need to work longer. In 2012 and 2013, there has not been any important reform of the French Health care system, since the most important reform was adopted in 2009 (loi HPST) and since the government was concentrated on the pension reform in 2013. Moreover, deficits have started to decrease in the health care sector, thus leading to no important measures in that field. In Summer 2013, the government has launched a collective discussion on “National Health strategy” that will be presented in Summer 2014. In late 2013, some decisions have been taken regarding pharmaceutical goods on one hand, and aiming at increasing resources on the other. While LTC has been a central topic in the political debate for many years now, and while there have been many promises made to reform the LTC system in order to find a sustainable mode of financing and a simplified mode of governance, the reforms have been continuously postponed and a clear consensus on the mode of financing has yet to emerge. The government elected in 2012 has announced that long-term care would be one of its priorities, and that a reform would be undertaken to better cover the needs of the dependent elderly. Three reports have been published since then, but no major decision have been decided yet, except for an increase in tax paid by retired people, supposedly aimed at finaincing LTC.