While we thought we were going to retire at age 64, Emmanuel Macron made a gesture towards the unions, saying he was rather in favor of a contribution period. Nicolas Barré takes stock of this economic issue.

Big surprise on the pension reform, Emmanuel Macron is no longer favorable to the establishment of a 64 years to receive a full pension.

This is a spectacular opening and completely unexpected that the Head of State made this Monday evening on France 2. An opening towards the unions on a key point of the reform, the age from which one will be able to benefit from a full pension. In mid-July, High Commissioner Jean-Paul Delevoye, in charge of the reform, proposed the establishment of a pivotal age of 64 years. We would have kept the legal age of 62 to retire but with a discount of 5% on the amount of pensions for those leaving before age 64 and a premium for those leaving after. For the unions, this system was de facto raising the age of retirement to 64 years.

The President of the Republic comes back to this idea?

He even said he was more in favor of another idea, which had not been rejected by Jean-Paul Delevoye, that of agreeing with unions and employers, rather than on a pivotal age, on a longer contribution period. Logical argument advanced by Emmanuel Macron, those who started working later because of their studies will leave later, and the others sooner. In doing so, the head of state opens the game for the negotiations that begin in early September with the social partners. He tells them in essence "nothing is fixed". Today, the contribution period is 43 years. You can decide to increase it rather than set a higher retirement age. Social partners to choose. It is a major political gesture with however an unavoidable constraint recalled by Emmanuel Macron, the system will have to be balanced in 2025.