“The mother of reforms is no longer that of pensions, but that of access to employment,” said the secretary general of FO

“The mother of reforms is no longer that of pensions, but that of access to employment,” said the secretary general of FO

Yves Veyrier, the general secretary of Force Ouvrière, believes on franceinfo Friday that the syuniversal point system does not solve the difficulties that employees may encounter when asserting their right to retirement.

Yves Veyrier, April 29, 2021, at the Élysée Palace.  (LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP)

“The mother of reforms is no longer that of pensions, but that of access to employment”, declared on Friday June 4 on franceinfo the secretary general of Force Ouvrière (FO), Yves Veyrier, while Emmanuel Macron declared on Thursday, during a trip to the Lot, that he did not think that the pension reform initially envisaged “Can be taken back as is”.

franceinfo: Do ​​you understand that this is also the end of the points regime?

Yves Veyrier: The mother of reforms is no longer that of pensions, but that of access to employment. The universal points system in no way solves the difficulties that employees may encounter when asserting a right to retirement. We know that one in two employees, at the time of liquidating their retirement, is no longer in employment. The difficulties – short contracts, the alternation between short contracts and unemployment – that women suffer more often, low wages, accumulate at the end of your working life and make it difficult for you to have a decent retirement. The current system compensates them more or less well because it is based on an annuity system, which is validated even when there are periods of interruption. And there is a complementary system which is negotiated between employers and employees, the Agirc Arrco. The universal points system would have aggravated these difficulties. And these difficulties will worsen with the crisis: a report just published by Dares shows that in 2019, 4.8 million employees signed contracts for less than a month. This is what must be resolved. If we ensure that all employees, from their entry into working life, until the moment of asserting their right to retirement, benefit from a permanent full-time job, we will solve the problem of the level of retirement, the right to effective retirement and the financial equilibrium of the system.

Is it a relief to see this change of priorities in the head of Emmanuel Macron?

I stay on my guard all the time. He reverses the priority, he says that it is no longer retirement, the mother of reforms, but the question of employment. A real job, a real salary, is the demand of Force Ouvrière. If the President of the Republic makes it his mantra, so much the better. This means that what we are saying was founded. I have never ceased to debate with the ministers and parliamentarians who carried this project. I explained that they did not master either the universal point retirement system, their project, or even the current system.

What can we expect from this reform afterwards?

We must not be fooled. There has been a debate on systemic / parametric. From the outset, I explained that the points-based pension system was a permanent parametric reform, because it would have enabled the government tomorrow to play on the parameters – the point value at purchase, the value of service when selling points and converting them into a pension – to force employees to work longer to benefit from a full, decent retirement, or to constrain the level itself. When young people find it difficult to find a job, to stay in the job, when women have difficulty finding a job with a decent full-time, long-term salary, older people keep their jobs until the moment of retirement. retirement, should the priority be to make people work, to force those who are still lucky enough to have a job when they retire, to have to work longer? There, it would be really head over heels. We need to improve pension rights. Not everyone enjoys a decent retirement today, far from it. We must add to the Old Age Solidarity Fund, come and support those who have only small pensions because they have not had sufficient employment throughout their working life. We must revalue small pensions, revalue pensions. The purchasing power of pensions must be preserved.