The French government recently introduced legislation aiming to reform the country’s pension system by gradually increasing the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64, as well as the number of years of insured employment needed to be eligible for a full pension from 42 to 43 years.   To speed the passage of the controversial reform, the French government used its constitutional power to bypass the parliament vote. The reform is expected to enter into effect once its compliance with the French constitution is confirmed by May 2023.


The normal retirement age remains at 67, and people retiring at the normal retirement age will receive a full pension regardless of the number of years of insured employment. For early retirement with a full pension, the minimum retirement age is 62 and 42 years of insured employment.

Since most people in France retire earlier than the normal retirement age, increasing the minimum retirement age has been very controversial, subject to global press coverage, and triggering national strikes. The government has nevertheless pursued pension reform to boost employment rates of people between the ages of 60 and 64, thereby ensuring the solvency of the fund via increased pension contributions while also allowing a boost in pension in-payment for the recipients most in need.

Key details

The new reform introduces the following changes:

  • The minimum retirement age required to receive a full pension will rise in three-month increments annually from September 2023 until it reaches the age of 64 in 2030. The first group affected will be people born after August 1961 who can retire starting September 2023.
  • Those retiring early must have 43 years of insured employment. Service requirements will increase, from 42, annually in 3-month increments until reaching the full 43 years in September 2027.
  • The long-career system allowing people who began working under the age of 20 to retire early (after completion of up to 44 years of insured employment) will be preserved. The reform enables this category of people to count one year of parental leave towards their minimum years of insured employment.
  • Specific categories of workers such as police officers, firefighters, nurses, and workers with major health issues will still be allowed to retire at age 62 with a full pension. Police officers will be able to retire as early as 54 years old (currently age 52), while firefighters will be able to retire as early as 59 years (currently age 57). Service requirements for this category of employees remain the same (from 17 to 27 years, depending on the profession). Additionally, disabled individuals will still be able to retire with a full pension starting from age 55.
  • The minimum pension for low-income workers will increase to 85% of the net minimum wage, about EUR 1,200 per month at current levels. This benefit level increase will also apply to current retirees.
  • The retirement age of part-time workers claiming partial retirement benefits would increase from age 60 to 62. However, this category of people will no longer require 37.5 years of insured employment.

Next steps

Employers should monitor future legislation finalizing the requirements and implementation timeframes.

Social Security Finance amending Bill

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