Minister says all of France must prepare for reform to pensions

 
City A.M. Reporter
ALL of France will have to participate in reforms to the country’s pension system, a minister said yesterday, fanning expectations that an advisory panel due to report next week could recommend a major overhaul.

“Let us be clear: to save our pensions system, everyone will have to make an effort,” social affairs minister Marisol Touraine was quoted as telling Le Parisien.

France is under pressure from its Eurozone neighbours to deliver on promised pension reforms to boost competitiveness and cut spending, with the EC urging it to balance the system’s books no later than 2020.

While President Francois Hollande has accused Brussels of trying to dictate details of the reform, he has also told the French they must expect to work longer – just a year after he put the retirement age back to 60 from 62 for physically demanding jobs.

Touraine said it was fair that people should have to work longer as they lived longer. She said public sector employees would also have to contribute.

The panel is due to submit its conclusions to the government next week. It is reportedly set to suggest a small rise in employer contributions, according to daily Le Figaro, going against EC recommendations.