While the government is considering raising the legal retirement age before the end of the five-year term, Raymond Soubie, president of the Arfilia group and of the consulting company Alixio, believes that “It is more a reform of the beginning of the five-year term than of the end”. The former social adviser of Nicolas Sakozy, at the maneuver in 2010 when the former head of state chose to increase this limit from 60 to 62 years, considers that this reform “Undoubtedly had political fallout in public opinion and participated in the defeat of 2012” of the former President of the Republic.
What would you think of an increase in the legal retirement age?
For me, this is the only possible measure given the present and foreseeable deficit in pension plans. The rest is not up to the situation: it is pipe. In 2010, it was the first time in thirty years that this milestone was touched. The question to ask is: when to make this reform? In my opinion, it is more a reform of the beginning of the five-year term than of the end. It is so necessary that it should not be spoiled by throwing it prematurely.
Do you think there is a way of passage today?
We are very close to the presidential election, let alone campaign time. Parametric and budgetary reform is very different from the systemic reform originally wanted by the government and presented as idyllic, where everyone was going to find both more justice and their account. And remember the endless debates there was around the pivotal age two years ago, which was a drastically diminished form of lowering the legal age. The government has many difficult subjects to deal with: getting out of “whatever the cost” without too much damage, ensuring that the economic machine is revived, ensuring that adaptation to new challenges and new skills takes place… C is huge. It’s difficult to get involved in a subject like pensions that is long-term, especially since we don’t know what the social climate is going to be.
How would you qualify this climate?
Today, it is apparently calm but it is not abnormal in the period that we have known, priority being in the fight against the Covid and its immediate economic and social consequences. Tomorrow, the recovery will undoubtedly accelerate. It is at this moment that tensions are likely to appear, since the State will have to gradually reduce the aid it grants. Some will then feel in real difficulty. A feeling of injustice may arise. But in social matters, the worst is never certain, especially as the government will pay all its attention to avoiding social unrest during the presidential campaign.
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