Faced with the possibility of a new postponement of the statutory retirement age, protesters dream of a “fairer” system

The promise is spread on signs and adorns jackets. “With the Unione Popolare the pension is 60 years! “, Proudly shows the activists and supporters of Insoumis who came in large numbers this Sunday to demonstrate on the occasion of International Labor Day. Gathered under a radiant sun in the Place de la République in Paris, a crowd largely conquered by Jean-Luc Mélenchon listened attentively to the one who already imagines himself Prime Minister of Emmanuel Macron.

“Now it’s about bringing the retirement age back to 65! (…) Never forget, nothing has been granted to you, everything has always been taken away! “Launched the leader of Insoumis, the voice covered by the whistles aroused as soon as the mention of the reform project of the newly re-elected president. Less than two months before the legislative elections, the mere possibility of a postponement of the legal age was the subject, this May 1st, of a real tension within the march.

Difficulties and ecological problems

At just 28, Camille says she is “completely concerned” about the topic: “When we see our parents finding themselves unemployed at 60, we inevitably wonder what sense it makes to always want to postpone this age of starting to retire.” production manager in the cultural sector, the young woman is now training to become a bookseller. In favor of the proposal by Jean-Luc Mélenchon who wanted to set the legal threshold at 60, the young woman continues: “It is obviously possible for a manager to leave later . But if I become a bookseller, I don’t know if I will still be able to lift crates full of books until I am 65 ”.

For Aurélie, 44, and Vincent, 43, the difficulties of some jobs absolutely must be better taken into account by the public authorities in case of reform. “I have colleagues, women who live alone, who are forced to continue working in order to live properly. But being a teacher at that age becomes really difficult, ”explains Aurélie, who teaches history and geography in a restaurant on the outskirts of Paris. Her spouse calls for a global questioning of the notion of work in our society: “We cannot effectively reform the pension system if we do not question our current productivist system. We need to take into account future issues, especially ecological ones, which may or may not require less work ”.

Sign in hand, Lucien, 31, is an environmental sympathizer. A supporter of a “convergence of social and ecological struggles”, he considers Emmanuel Macron’s project “absolutely insane”. “Putting the start at 62, as happens today, already seems to me the best. All the more so since the Pensions Guidance Council (COR) has indicated that without reform the system should be rebalanced within thirty years, ”the young man stresses. In its latest report, however, the body recommended retirement at 64 years from 2030 to structurally rebalance the system “every year until 2070”.

Erase the disparities

Beyond this legal age, several protesters have called for a “fairer” pension system, particularly for women. Indeed, according to the Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (Drees), French women received an average of 28% less pension in 2018 than men. Flag of the rebels in hand, Nadia, 65, dreams of a reform capable of erasing these disparities. “Women are paid on average less than men throughout their lives, they are more affected by precarious jobs and career breaks. Even if there are compensations, these inequalities should be better considered, “she believes.

To finance a “fairer” pension system, Françoise, 57, defends the creation of an additional tax for the richest: “I see no point in extending working hours if it is a question of firing the elderly at 58. and then find wealth to finance social benefits. ”Worried and concerned, will these protesters have the opportunity to submit their demands to the government? During the election campaign in early April, Emmanuel Macron considered the referendum to be a tool to be “used”, also for the pension reform. Before adding that he wanted “in the first place to foster a broad political consultation and consultation with the social partners on this issue.” The debates could start as early as this summer.

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