RESEARCH PAPER
The French Pension System Crisis
 
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Publish date: 2003-07-25
 
Gospodarka Narodowa 2003;185(7-8):64–84
ABSTRACT
In the coming years the French pension system faces a threat of collapse and loss of financial liquidity. The problems encountered by all traditional pension systems in Europe, such as reaching retirement age by baby-boom generations, ageing societies due to low natural increase and life expectancy growth, are coupled with problems associated with fragmentation of the system. Almost any social and professional group has its own separate pension sub-system. They are more sensitive to unwelcome demographic developments, and any government attempt to change the system must be consulted with social partners managing specific subsystems. The article illustrates difficulties faced the reform of the traditional pension system and attempts to find a satisfactory solution for the present and future old-age pensioners. As can be seen from the wave of strikes in France, it is not easy to convince the society about the necessity of changes to prevent problems due to affect the population in a dozen or several dozen years. The reforms, which ensure long-term financial stability of the pension system and apportion the burden of its funding between the generation of pensioners and the working-age population imposing an excessive burden on the latter, as is the case in Poland, are not easy to enact. The currently employed persons do not want to concede the benefits they were guaranteed by the existing pension system, i.e. the unproportionately high level of pensions relative to the contributions paid. Nevertheless, the unfavourable age structure of the population is bound to enforce reforms.
eISSN:2300-5238
ISSN:0867-0005