Promises and Prospects
Edited by Philip Taylor
7. Pulling up the early retirement anchor in France Anne-Marie Guillemard and Annie Jolivet (translated from French by Noal Mellott) OLDER WORKERS IN PROFILE Below 30 per cent prior to the year 2000, the employment rate of 55–64 year-olds has increased since then: from 30 per cent in 2000 to 37.8 per cent in 2005.1 Nonetheless it is premature to draw the conclusion that the situation of ageing workers has changed signiﬁcantly over the past few years. The increase in the employment rate is, to a large degree, mechanical (Conseil d’Orientation des Retraites, 2004), masking, as it does, diﬀerences between men and women. Men are still leaving the world of work early, but this trend is counterbalanced by the advancing age of the larger number of working women and by persons from the baby boom generation reaching the age of 50, and thus swelling the ranks of the older age groups with those from the group with highest economic activity and employment rates (see Figure 7.1). Women still often take retirement later than men, since they have not contributed long enough to qualify for a full pension from the National Old Age Fund (CNAV) at the age of 60. For instance, three out of ten women start receiving beneﬁts from this fund at 65, compared with one in ten men. Early withdrawal from the labour force has been curbed considerably in recent years. Restrictions on budgeted full-time early exit through a special National Employment Fund allowance...
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