France: Pension reform bill clears first hurdle

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The French Government has successfully steered a bill to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62 by 2018 through the National Assembly. Despite attempts by the Socialist opposition to talk the bill out, the speaker curtailed the debate to allow a vote to take place.

As well as increasing the retirement age for men and women, if the Senate also passes the legislation people will have to wait an extra 2 years until they are 67 to receive their state pension. In addition, they will have to pay social security contributions for 41.5 years, one year more than at present.

The Government asserts that reform is needed to help cut the budget deficit while unions have threatened ongoing national strikes if the measures aren’t altered.