French Retirement Reforms and Intragenerational Equity in Retirement Duration
As most developed countries, France has gone over the last 20 years through a process of pension system reforms, mainly aiming at increasing the average retirement age, through increasing the required number of contribution years or through postponing legal (minimal and/or normal) ages. Public debates over which lever should be preferred have been paramount in France, with concerns focusing on redistribution issues between high wage high life-expectancy and low-wage low life-expectancy workers. In this paper, we empirically address this issue by simulating the differentiated impacts of the past French reforms on average retirement ages across wage quartiles. Our simulations show that increasing the required duration criterion—as was done by the 1993 and 2003 reforms–have redistributive impact as regards retirement age, while increasing the normal age—as was done by the 2010 reform—has a counter-distributive impact. The redistributive impact on average of the required duration criterion however only holds thanks to the fact that disabled workers—most of them in the lowest wage quartile—are exempted from it. Last, increasing minimal age has ambiguous impacts according to gender: redistributive among women but counter-distributive among men. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013
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