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Increase in retirement age | France is not going it alone



The French government’s plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 risks leading to a confrontation with workers opposed to this measure considered draconian. However, many countries have undertaken, with many variables, the same project in recent years. Overview.

To each his own problem

The desire to raise the retirement age is associated with two phenomena: the aging of the population and the rising costs of public pension plans, notes Yves Carrière, associate professor in the demography department of the University of Montreal. But the situation differs from country to country. “You have to take into account the type of system put in place [capitalisé ou non]replacement rate [somme que l’État donne par rapport au salaire]the demographic situation, the activity rate [lié au travail] elderly people and life expectancy,” he says.



Protest message displayed in Bordeaux, France, on January 11

1er April 1983, the minimum retirement age was brought up to 60, whereas it had been 65 since the end of the Second World War. He rose to 62 in 2010. The current Macron government now wants to push him back to 64. According to Mr. Carrière, the French system is more generous. “The minimum pension in France will be increased to $20,800 per year in Canadian dollars. Whereas in Quebec, if I retire at age 65 by contributing the maximum to the public plan, I will be paid $15,600, to which is added about $8,000 by Old Age Security. [fédéral]. And that is the… maximum. The replacement rate is significantly higher in France than here. »

Should we raise the retirement age in Canada?

Yves Carrière thinks not. “Our public plan is one of the most cheap OECD countries, he says. It is not an incentive to retire. And since the mid-1990s, the effective retirement age has steadily increased and probably exceeded 65. Many people collect their public pensions from the age of 60 but continue to work! He also believes that in Canada, unlike France, public spending on pensions represents a low percentage of GDP and does not put too much pressure on the economy.

The European Union today

In the 27 States of the European Union (EU), the average legal retirement age is close to 65 years. The age fluctuates between 60 and 65 depending on the country and sometimes depending on the sex. In Austria and Poland, for example, retirement is at 65 for men and 60 for women. Apart from France, only Sweden and Greece (after 40 years of contributions) set the legal retirement age at 62. In Slovakia it is 62 years and 10 months. Germany, Denmark, Italy and Greece (for people with 15 years of contributions) have the highest threshold, ie 67 years.

The European Union, tomorrow

Like France, many EU countries are engaged in a process aimed at raising the retirement age. “No less than 23 member states have decided to step back in the coming years or are already starting to do so gradually,” reads the All Europe website. Thus, Denmark will gradually increase the retirement age to set it at 69 in 2035 and 70 in 2040. Italy would increase it to 69 years and 9 months by 2050.


In the UK, the statutory retirement age is being raised from 65 to 68. All people born after June 12, 1953 are affected. The more recently you are born, the later the retirement age. People born after April 6, 1978 will retire at age 68.

In Japan: never?


Shopping street in Tokyo, Japan

Japan recently allowed companies to raise the retirement age from 65 to 70. Not surprising ! By 2025, one in three Japanese will be 65 or older. It lacks manpower. But according to a recent report by New York Times, many people in the country go to work well beyond that. Because the cost of living is very high and the pension plans not very generous! The New York daily reports that the minimum state pension threshold is 60,000 yen per month (C$607). Always according to New York Times, South Korea has nearly 40% of older people living in poverty. There too, we work very long.

In the USA

For a long time, the retirement age was set at 65. “If the law was adopted in 1983 under Ronald Reagan, many years passed before it began to be applied,” notes Yves Carrière. In other words, people who were, for example, 62 years old in 1983, did not learn overnight that they had to work longer. In addition, Americans can begin to receive their public benefits from the age of 62. But they will pay penalties, as is the case with Quebecers who retire before age 65.

Sources:,,, Money Farm, The New York Times

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  • Voltaire wrote…
    “Retirement is the port where one must take refuge after the storms of life. »

    Letter dated January 5, 1755

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