France: Government announce changes to pension reform plans

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Faced with open-ended strike action by unions opposed to changes to France’s pension law which are currently being debated in the French Senate, Nicolas Sarkozy has amended them again. After workers in labour-intensive industries received special exemption, mothers with three or more children and parents of handicapped children will also be able to retire earlier.

Currently, men and women can retire at the age of 60 if they have made pension contributions for 40.5 years although they are only eligible for a full pension at the age of 65. The government plans to raise the retirement age to 62, contribution period to 41.5 years and pension age to 67.