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ASISP Annual National Report 2009: Pensions,Health and Long-Term Care

Abstract : Overall, the structure of the French pension system has not changed radically in 2008. The main measure legislated in the largest statutory scheme – the régime general – has been the gradual increase in the duration of insurance from 40 years in 2008 to 41 years in 2012. At the end of March 2009, the social partners have also decided to maintain the rules that currently govern indexation mechanisms in Agirc and Arrco, two supplementary schemes that constitute a large part of pensioners’ incomes. A number of measures aiming at promoting longer working lives have also been implemented, but they remain insufficient if France is to reach the Lisbon employment rate targets. Social science research has shown that legislative changes curbing opportunities for early retirement have had a negligent effect on the employment of the elderly. The labour market participation of the elderly has been at the center of recent political debates on the evolution of the French pension system. The idea of increasing the statutory retirement age has been gaining momentum in recent months. Other important changes that are being considered by pension experts but also by political elites are a reform of “family advantages”, i.e. pension bonuses offered to pensioners who have had children or to widow(er)s, as well as the replacement of all existing pay-as-you-go schemes by a single notional defined-contribution (NDC) system. While an NDC system would certainly improve the transparency of the French pension system, it is doubtful whether such a system will be capable of ensuring adequate pensions for the increasing number of workers employed in non-standard work arrangements. France is used to alternate pension and health care reforms. Important years for pension reforms have been 2003 and 2007/2008, when 2004 has been a very important year for health care reforms. In 2008, no important reforms have been implemented in health care (due to the preparation of the presidential elections in spring 2007 and the important pension reforms in fall 2007 and in spring 2008 – RDV 2008 – presented in the pension section). In late 2007 and in 2008, various measures have mainly been aimed at finding new resources for avoiding the health insurance deficit to grow too importantly. However, a new important structural reform has being prepared and discussed. However, the discussion of this new reform "Hôpital, patients, santé, territoire" has constantly been postponed and has been presented to the Parliament only in Spring 2009, and is still not adopted in May 2009. This project has been subjected to many criticisms, especially from the medical profession, who went several times on strike and demonstration to oppose some main elements of this reform. Little by little, most of its planned content has been soften to respond positively to the doctors' anger. It is planned that this new law will further push decentralisation within the French Health care system, by the creation of new Regional Health Agencies, in charge of the health policy at the regional level.
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Nathalie Morel, Marek Naczyk, Bruno Palier. ASISP Annual National Report 2009: Pensions,Health and Long-Term Care. [Research Report] European Commission. 2009, pp.41. ⟨hal-02190253⟩

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