Pension disparities between men and women: which evolutions?
Mens and womens pensions and retirement ages remain very different, even if this gap has been closing (slowly) for the most recent generations. This work analyses possible developments till 2040. We first study the impact on future pension entitlements and on disparities between genders of the rise in womens participation in the labour market since the early 70s. Simulations carried out with the Destinie microsimulation model conclude that the gender gap keeps closing by the year 2040, essentially because of the rise in womens years of contribution. In a second part, we study the gender impact of pension reforms since the 90s. Although these reforms do not differentiate explicitly between genders, they can have diverging impacts for men and women due to interactions between the new rules and career profiles. Simulations show that this is actually the case. Without reforms, the ratio between pensions for men and women in the private sector would have fallen from 1,99 for cohorts 1940-44 to 1,47 for cohorts 1965-74. After reforms, the new ratio is expected to be 1,59. But the underlying mechanisms are very different from one reform to the next. The 1993 reform has the largest impact: computing the reference wage on the 25 rather than the 10 best years of ones career is more penalizing for women. The impact of the 2003 reform rather results from the fact that women make a larger use of new possibilities to retire before reaching the full rate. The relative reduction of their pension level is therefore the counterpart of an earlier age at benefit claiming. In the public sector, the same 2003 reform is a little more penalizing for men.
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