Thursday, 22 July, 2021

Senate, Banque de France: these à la carte pension plans and little extras


Early retirement age, low contribution rate or high pension level … Certain sectors of activity have made their retirement system an untouchable pillar. In addition to those of the RATP and the SNCF, many devices still offer great advantages or little extras.

Senators

A pension which can be higher than the indemnity

Senators are resisting. While their colleagues in the Assembly have reduced their benefits (for one term, pension rights have gone from 1,053 to 664 euros), members of the Senate are clinging to their comfortable regime. In a vitriolic study, Garantie Retraites denounces an “exceptional return”: one euro contributed offers 6 euros of benefits against 1 to 1.5 euros in the general scheme. For a full career, senators would even have a pension greater than their allowance, “with a replacement rate of 122% against 75% in the public service,” said the association.

Admittedly, in 2010, the Senate abolished its double contribution, which made it possible to acquire in accelerated mode (23 years), the annuities for a retirement at full rate. But he replaced it with a complementary scheme, details of which remain secret. “All the pension reforms in recent years have been transposed,” retorts the Senate. And the scheme is financed “without resorting to financial transfers from the State”. A biased argument. Elected officials can draw from their pot of 1.4 billion, accumulated since the creation of the regime in 1905, which was fed by the public endowment financing the upper house.

Air traffic controllers

The legal age set at 52 years old

The Delevoye report on pensions has put balm in the hearts of 4,000 air traffic controllers: it formalized their exemption from the reform, as

police or prison staff, including them among officials with dangerous missions. They will therefore still be able to retire at age 52. Suddenly, the National Union of Air Traffic Controllers, the majority, does not call for a strike on December 5. “We are reassured, says Jérôme Lautrette, spokesperson for the union. The government has understood our specificities, the stress and the need to provide 24-hour service.”

With the air traffic controllers, who have shown their ability to block airports, Emmanuel Macron did not take any risk. But it maintains advantages denounced by the Court of Auditors, which considers the organization “opaque”, and the very reduced working time, “less than 100 days per year”. This pension plan, integrated into that of the civil service, remains nonetheless very premium, with pensions boosted thanks to index revaluations and a supplementary temporary allowance paid thirteen years after the cessation of activity. The result: a basic pension reaching 3,344 euros in 2016, which has doubled in ten years, according to the organization Safeguard Retraites.

The Bank of France

Retirement at 57 for some agents

Two centuries after its creation, in 1808, by Napoleon Iis, the Banque de France regime falls into line. He even anticipated the gradual increase in the legal retirement age, which affects special schemes: from the second half of 2021, almost all central bank officials will retire at 62. Certainly, some of them occupying positions deemed difficult will still be able to leave at the age of 57: conveyor drivers, paper workers and printers. But, according to the Banque de France, there were only 73 agents benefiting from this system in 2018, or 0.7% of the workforce (9,900 agents). Admittedly, this system remains very unbalanced with around 15,000 retirees for 12,000 contributors (in 2015) according to the Retirement Orientation Council. But to fill the gap, the subsidy of 441 million euros is paid by the institution which does not ask for money from the state.

Clerks and employees of notaries

Pensions calculated over the best ten years

Generous notaries. In 1937, they created a special scheme for their clerks and employees, still in force, with a higher pension than that of the general scheme, calculated over the best 10 years and not the 25 for other private sector employees. However, the starting age was gradually raised to 62 years. Faced with the demographic imbalance (78,000 retirees for 60,000 currently working people) and to finance the benefits of the scheme, notaries have higher pension contributions than other employers and they pay a special tax of 322 million euros. “It is a voluntary contribution of notaries on their turnover to maintain an attractive pension plan”, underlines Olivier Maniette, the general manager of this pension fund. In this very uncompetitive sector, with inflationary prices, it is, in fact, paid by customers.

Strike of 5 December Pension reform