Why the French Are Angry About a Plan to Retire at 64
Comment of the Day

March 23 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Why the French Are Angry About a Plan to Retire at 64

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Hardly. The world’s population of people aged 60 years and older is expected to double by 2050, according to the World Health Organization, while fertility rates are in long-term decline. The financial strain is challenging old-age support systems and leaving many countries facing tough choices about raising the age of retirement, cutting benefits or lifting taxes. Pension shortfalls will be the equivalent of about 23% of world output by 2050, the Group of 30 consultancy estimated. One key measure is the old-age dependency ratio — the number of older people compared to the population that is working age. In Europe and North America, that ratio will be about 50 per 100 by 2050, according to UN forecasts, a rise from 30 per 100 in 2019. In short, we’re on a trajectory toward a smaller share of people paying taxes and a higher proportion drawing pensions. By 2035, the basic US system known as Social Security will no longer be able to cover payments, forcing a 20% reduction in benefits, according to its trustees. 

Eoin Treacy's view

Very few people are keen on the idea of working more than they have to. That has been one of the primary selling points of union negotiators for decades. You might not like your job, but we’ll make sure you are looked after in your (lengthy) retirement. With union workers negotiating favourable terms, government pensions have also become more generous. 

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