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News Summary: France unveils retirement reform

October 15, 2013

JUST A BANDAID?: President Francois Hollande’s proposed changes to France’s cherished and generous retirement system are so minor that unions are showing little resistance and economists say they aren’t worthy of the name “reform.”

DECADES AWAY: Hollande’s plan would lengthen the number of years people must work to receive a full pension to 43 years by 2035, from 41 years currently; the first increases begin in 2020.

THREE ISSUES: Economists say the plan takes effect after most baby boomers will have retired; it still isn’t asking people to work long enough; and it ignores the special deals that allow some workers to retire early and account for two-thirds of the retirement system’s 20 billion-euro ($27 billion) deficit.

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