Barthelemy Philippe // Photo credit: Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP 08:08, November 29, 2023

The idea provoked an outcry in the private sector. Finally, for the time being, the State will not dip into the surpluses of the supplementary pension fund for private sector employees, Agric-Arrco. The executive leaves it up to the social partners to reach a co-financing agreement before the end of June 2024.

After weeks of procrastination, the government has finally given up, at least temporarily, on taking direct money from Agirc-Arrco's surpluses. The executive wanted to use the surpluses of the supplementary pension fund for private sector employees to contribute to the revaluation of small pensions, provided for by the last reform.

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The government has finally decided to hand over to the managers of the scheme, unions and employers, and gives them until the end of the first half of 2024 to find a co-financing agreement. This agreement is considered legitimate in the name of the financial gains that the complementary insurance will make thanks to the reform.

"We need to be able to isolate an amount"

So, for the start of the discussions, the social partners put forward hypotheses about the famous Agirc-Arrco contribution. They have started to think about how much to pay each year, even if it is still unclear, says Pascale Coton of the CFTC union.

"Do we give free points, a financial supplement, etc.? We don't know. We just said that we didn't refuse any proposal," she told Europe 1 radio. "We need to be able to isolate an amount. We arrived at a figure of €400 million. But we really need to refine things," adds the trade unionist.

Discussions that need to move quickly

Nevertheless, the negotiators drew two red lines. Firstly, there is no question of weakening the financial balance of the scheme and secondly, it is up to the State and not Agirc-Arrco to finance the pensions of the general scheme. "We are careful to determine what we could give in addition only for pensioners who have contributed to Agric-Arcco, because all this must remain for employees in the private sector," she adds.

The next meeting is set for December 20th. And we will have to move forward because the government has warned: if the social partners do not make a proposal, the State will end up taking the amount it needs from the coffers of the complementary insurance.