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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press In France, Age 60 Is an EARLY Retirement Age

In France, Age 60 Is an EARLY Retirement Age

Saturday, 23 October 2010 08:42
How can reporters have been covering the debate in France for weeks and still not know that age 60 is an early retirement age, not the normal retirement age? It is comparable to the early retirement age of 62 for Social Security benefits. The normal retirement age in France is currently 65. In France, as in the United States, most workers start collecting benefits shortly after reaching the early retirement age. It would have been useful to make this distinction so that readers would understand what is at issue.
Comments (13)Add Comment
written by JT, October 23, 2010 9:56
You made this a pet peeve of mine watching ABC News this last week. Every night they would get this wrong--even with a reporter on the ground in France.
written by LillithMc, October 23, 2010 3:00
Even after taking social security at age 62, the recipient can not earn over about $14,000 until about age 67 without losing some amount of social security payment. It works on increments that can be seen on the social security web site.
written by Queen of Sheba, October 23, 2010 4:42
This kind of reporting is doing an enormous disservice to people in the U.S. who already believe that everyone in France lives on the Socialist dole. Every teapartier I know (and there are lots of them in Texas) have the idea that full retirement benefits are paid at age 60 in France, and the only reason they have for believing that is the shoddy media reporting. When I try to tell them that age 60 is the early retirement age - like 62 in this country - they refuse to believe it, because they haven't heard that explained on the "news."

Half-assed information is just as bad as no information at all in many cases. Our U.S. reporters should be ashamed of themselves - unless the object of their reporting is, for some reason, actually meant to mislead their viewers.
Rest of the story please
written by cas127, October 23, 2010 6:17
So vast riots are going on simply because of an increase in the *minimum* retirement age (which, by your inference, does not apply to the majority of French retirees)?

What is the rest of the story, CEPR?

Why the riots for (as your post implies) a change that does not affect most of the retiring population.

I don't think the MSM is only one giving us half of the story, CEPR...
Repeat what someone told you and verify by asking someone else
written by Scott ffolliott, October 23, 2010 8:28
Repeat what someone told you and verify by asking someone else
One's expectations for reporters must be very high to expect a reporter to know anything about anything.

Repeat what someone told you and verify by asking someone else
This is the basic research from the school of journalism method.
Repeat what everyone says for if it is wrong you keep you job.
This allows you to write about the people out of work. Out of work people can be good human-interest stories if they are the deserving kind of people like us
written by purple, October 23, 2010 9:22
Full retirement should be at 60 anyhow. It would reduce youth unemployment and be a net gain even by the narrow standards of bourgeoisie fiscal prudence- who at this point, can't even run their own system right.
The rest of the story
written by Mike B., October 24, 2010 6:42
The bill also raises the normal retirement age from 65 to 67, so it affects everyone. But the point is that the press is generally only giving the numbers for the early retirement age, calling it just the retirement age. This is misleading, and it's hard to believe that the press is so incompetent that they don't know the basic facts.
written by MB, October 24, 2010 8:15
Even C-Span. They turned it over to a feed from France 24 news but the intro description, the onscreen crawl, and the concluding blurb all referred to it as the retirement age, even though the actual broadcast from France 24 specifically called it the minimum retirement age. So even though C-Span was able to actually present accurate information, their own narrators could not learn from it.
Re: Rest of the story please
written by leo, October 24, 2010 10:46

Oh, that one's easy. The population out on the streets sees this not as simply as a delay of a couple of years in getting their version of social security but rightfully as an attack on their middle class way of life.

You'd probably see the same thing if Sarkozy tried to cut their version of the minimum wage -- even though again, it might only affect a small proportion of their population.

Working people just don't want to move in the wrong direction and in France, bless their souls, they just happen to be a bit more vocal about it than in other countries.
Re: Rest of the story please
written by Scott ffolliott, October 24, 2010 2:34
The retirement issue is far more complex than “the age of retirement”. The legal age of retirement means the age at which one may retire. But the pension depends on the number of years worked, or to be more precise, on the number of cotisations (payments) into the joint pension scheme. On the grounds of “saving the system from bankruptcy”, the government is gradually raising the number of years of cotisations from 40 to 43 years, with indications that this will be stretched out further in the future.

As educationis prolonged, and employment begins later, to get a full pension most people will have to work until 65 or 67. A “full pension” comes to about 40 per cent of wages at the time of retirement.

But even so, that may not be possible. Full time jobs are harder and harder to get, and employers do not necessarily want to retain older employees. Or the enterprise goes out of business and the 58-year old employee finds himself permanently out of work. It is becoming harder and harder to work full-time in a salaried job for over 40 years, however much one may want to. Thus in practice, the Sarkozy-Woerth reform simply means reducing pensions.

"Work Harder to Earn Less"
French Fury in the EU Cage

Re: Rest of the story please II
written by Scott ffolliott, October 24, 2010 2:50
“As the former banker and economist Michael Hudson writes, "At issue are proposals to drastically change the laws and structure of how European society will function for the next generation. It is a purely vicious attempt to reverse Europe's Progressive Era social democratic reforms achieved over the past century.”

Three cheers for French strikers and their allies
By Alexander Cockburn

Read more: http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/...z13J8BtD00
written by Nicole, October 25, 2010 9:31
It would have been useful indeed if the media and most newspapers had been clear on this subject. I'm a French expatriate and honestly was annoyed by this erroneous info. Many people got confused by this including CNN who even added a very negative comment about it. The news should be reported correctly and fairly. Thank you for setting the score straight!
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Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.