French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on January 11 that he was willing to withdraw the most sought after measure in the government's retirement reform which makes people work for two years longer until 64 to qualify for a full pension. He said that to demonstrate his confidence in social partners he is willing to withdraw from the bill he had proposed. In a letter to the union leaders the Prime Minister said that he is willing to set the so-called "pivot age" of 64 with effect from 2027.
It came a day after he met the union leaders seeking to end a crippling transport strike now in its 38th day. French union and the people are demanding the government to withdraw its reform to showcase their biggest strength in decades. The Parliament is expected to debate about the reform bill from mid-February which proposes to increase the age at which workers can retire on a full pension to 64 "for the 1965 generation who will retire from 2027".
France has been gripped by protests and strike action over the proposed pension reforms. According to international media reports, the nationwide strike has brought transport to a standstill as the demonstrators have dismissed the Prime Minister's proposals on changing the pension system. Many tourist hotspots have also seen violent clashes between the police and the protesters and the workers' union have reportedly joined hands with the Yellow Vest protesters.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe in a speech outlined the government's planned pensions overhaul. He reportedly said that the 42 separate state-funded pension plans will be combined into a single points-based system. The French government is adamant on pushing the pension reform ahead and the next round of talks between the government and the union leaders will be held on January 7. With the pension reform, the government will be introducing France's first-ever minimum pension set at €1,000 per month. The legal retirement would remain 62, however, an additional two years of work would be required from 2027 for people to leave with a full pension.