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Reserves at 150 billion euros? It is even 180 billion, however it’s not open bar

There are reserve funds for pensions of 150 billion euros. The argument has resurfaced for the reason that presentation in early January of the pension reform mission, pushing again the retirement age to 64 years. Particularly for the reason that authorities is defending its invoice by highlighting “the stability of the system” to be achieved in 2030 and the deficits that should not accumulate.

“What occurs to the 150 billion in reserves of the pension system? “Asks a person in a viral publish. “Do we have now to think about that this authorities is mendacity to us on this topic too? “, is indignant, in a tweet shared 2,000 occasions, Martine Wonner, the ex-MP who turned identified for her opposition to well being measures within the Covid-19 disaster.

To help these remarks, an excerpt from the interview with economist Gilles Raveaud given on BFM Enterprise is included. He stated there in December 2019, when the primary pension reform mission wished by Emmanuel Macron was launched, that there have been “on the very least 150 billion euros in reserves for pensions”.

He was referring specifically to the pension reserve fund, arrange by Lionel Jospin, and to the supplementary pension system, which additionally has its reserve fund. For the lecturer on the College of Paris-8, “there’s [avait] no issues with funding pensions”.


These reserves do exist and their quantity has even elevated since 2019. Thus, based on the report of the Pensions Orientation Council (COR) revealed in September 2022, the reserves inside the pay-as-you-go system quantity to 180.4 billion euros as of December 31, 2021. Agirc-Arrco, a supplementary scheme for personal sector staff, has the very best envelope with 86.5 billion euros in reserve. The reserve fund for pensions (FRR) stands, as well as, at 26 billion euros. The COR, a sort of justice of the peace on the topic, is an impartial and pluralistic physique, accountable for analyzing and monitoring the medium and long-term prospects of the French pension system.

Screenshot of the desk detailing the quantities of monetary reserves inside the pay-as-you-go pension system, revealed within the COR 2022 report. – Screenshot/COR

However, explains Pierre-Yves Chanu, Confederal Councilor of the CGT on the COR, these reserves are “working capital, it’s a security cushion to ensure the cost of pensions. »

“The reserve funds aren’t fungible,” he explains. They can’t be utilized by the federal government, not beneath the present circumstances since it’s a joint system, completely managed by the social companions. »

“The failure” of the 2019 reform

In July 2019, the Delevoye report offered for the opportunity of drawing on these reserves following negotiations with the social companions. However the reform introduced in December 2019 envisaged making a common pension system, by merging the 42 present schemes, which is not the case at present. “Within the logic of a common system, with a single scheme for workers and non-employees, we might merge the reserves, notes Pierre-Yves Chanu, however the social companions as a lot because the self-employed didn’t need to hear about it, it is without doubt one of the causes for the failure of the reform. »

This feature is not on the agenda in 2023, based on the CGT confederal adviser. Requested, the workplace of the Prime Minister has not but answered us in the intervening time. In 2021, to AFP, the workplace of the Secretary of State accountable for pensions confirmed “that within the state of the regulation, the State has (…) no foundation for mobilizing [ces réserves] with the intention of making certain the stability of the overall scheme” and that these didn’t “should finance structural deficits, however to soak up demographic or financial shocks, such because the lack of contributions throughout the well being disaster”.

To reform or to not reform, a political selection

The basic query, in actuality, pertains to the deficit of the pension system. For the federal government, it’s “pressing” and “important” to reform as a way to assure the stability of the regime, as pleaded by the Minister of the Financial system, Bruno Le Maire, or the Minister of Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal. Unions and opposition events suppose simply the other. “The pension system might be balanced and, for that, it’s obligatory to offer the mandatory assets, defends Pierre-Yves Chanu. For us, on the CGT, this means a rise in contributions. »

In its report, the COR estimates that the pension system can be “on common in deficit over the subsequent 25 years”, primarily as a result of getting older of the inhabitants. However the option to reform is political. The COR additionally explains that it’s not its accountability to “place itself on the selection of the dimensions of the pension system”.

“Relying on political preferences, it’s completely reputable to defend that these ranges are too excessive or not excessive sufficient, and {that a} reform of the pension system ought to or shouldn’t be carried out”, it’s indicated. The report specifies, nevertheless, that the outcomes of the projections as much as 2070 “don’t validate the validity of the discourse which places ahead the thought of ​​an uncontrolled dynamic of pension expenditure”.

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