Senators, sailors… why are certain special schemes protected from pension reform?

The pension reform plans to abolish certain special schemes from September 1, 2023. But others, such as the Senators, the Paris Opera or the Comédie Française, are preserved.

RATP, the former EDF-GDF group, civil servants employed by notaries, the Banque de France or the Economic, Social and Environmental Council will see their special regime disappear with the new pension reform. For the new recruits who will now join the common old age insurance scheme like other private sector workers, disappear or rather become close.

Those already employed will remain with the old system, as was the case with the SNCF after the railway reform. As of January 1, 2020, new entrants no longer have the status of railway employee and contribute to CNAV and Agirc-Arrco for additional pension. This is a “grandfather clause”. This will be the case for employees of the aforementioned companies if the reform is adopted.

In addition to this clause, the reform also provides a small reprieve on the extension of the statutory retirement age, as it will only come into force in 2025, for employees of these special suspended schemes.

“Special professions rather than old bodies”

But not all special diets are on borrowed time. This applies to so-called “autonomous” regimes such as lawyers, which will be preserved. A press release from the Paris Bar Association on January 11 welcomed:

“After months of hard-fought historic mobilisation, the united legal profession has been able to maintain its pension scheme, which is autonomous, balanced, self-financing and, moreover, able to contribute up to €100m a year to national solidarity.”

The scheme, whose full rate is set between the ages of 65 and 67, has a basic pension of €1,438 per month in 2021 and an average additional pension of €785.

Other special diets, such as those of sailors or the Paris Opera, are also protected. These schemes allow these workers to leave well before the legal retirement age: 40 years for workers on permanent contracts at the Paris Opera, 50 years for sailors with 25 years of service. An age not raised by reform.

“Retirement ages are low because they belong to specific professions rather than old bodies,” Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt said in Les Échos on November 14.

Similarly, those of the Comédie-Française are preserved, as, for example, the Mines or the Port Authority of Strasbourg, gradually disappearing in view of the progressive advancement of those who benefited from them.

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The regime of senators was preserved

Among the retained regimes are senators. If the work of deputies now coincides with the civil service, from 2018, the work of senators is very different. The latest reform passed by the Senate set the contribution age at 43 until 2023 and the retirement age at 62 for elected officials born after 1955.

The reform will not change anything on the part of the Luxembourg Palace. LR MP Pierre-Henri Dumont introduced an amendment for a new reform to bring the regime for senators in line with that of MPs, angering LR senators. Among them, an elected official found the proposal “astounding”.

The deputy defended himself in the columns of Le Figaro, explaining that “there is no question of inciting a war between deputies and senators (…), but to add more justice to this pension reform. Deputies made an effort, why not senators? “

Senate President Gérard Larcher announced in 2019 that, as in 2003, 2010 and 2014, he would “consider pension reform” to adapt the scheme. However, its cancellation was out of the question. Especially since the scheme is self-financing, “without resorting to financial transfers from the State”, reveals the high council website.

It is enough to pay the senators large sums. “After a period of six years, a senator’s retirement pension amount will be, on average, 2190 euros net today,” explained the services of the Senate in 2019. According to the website of the National Assembly, the mandate is 684.38. Moreover, the average pension of a senator is 3,800 euros, compared to 1,400 euros for the rest of the French.

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