France reveals overhaul to pensions system

| June 16, 2010

The French Government has announced the country’s retirement age will be lifted from 60 to 62 by 2018, as part of a sweeping overhaul to its pension system.

The new measures are to be implemented to cut France’s pension costs and reduce public borrowing.

However, the shake-up has met with public anger after tens of thousands of people protested in Paris yesterday, at the request of the union Force Ouvriere.

More strikes and protests are expected in the autumn.

Labour Minister Eric Woerth commented: “All our European partners have done this by working longer. We cannot avoid joining this movement.”

Like many other European nations, France is facing a funding deficit in its pension scheme due to a growing older population.

Furthermore, its budget deficit currently stands at 7.5% of GDP - far above the 3% target required by the EU, albeit lower than some EU members including the UK, Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain.

The French Government plans to reduce the deficit to 6% by 2011, 4.6% in 2012 and 3% in 2013.

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