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Supplementary pensions: the issues of negotiation

Unions and employers will sit around the table to define the new management rules for Agirc-Arrco until 2026 and discuss its future… and its surpluses.

By Philippine Robert

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VDid you like the pension reform saga? This fall, you will love the new Agirc-Arrco episodes! The latter promise to be a little less stormy than those concerning the increase in the retirement age to 64 years… but just as decisive for the 13 million private sector employees who contribute to the supplementary pension.

The social partners have indeed opened this Tuesday, September 5 a negotiation which should decide the future of the supplementary pension scheme. By October, unions and employers will sit around the table to define the new rules for steering Agirc-Arrco until 2026, in order to adapt it to the new retirement age. and the return of inflation.

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A jackpot at the key?

With, in the middle of the discussions, what some consider to be a “bonanza”, others as the result of virtuous management and difficult decisions taken in recent years: the surpluses generated by the regime (more than 5 billion euros last year) and the generous reserves (9 months of payments, exceeding the minimum of 6 months provided for by a golden rule).

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According to the COR, the pension reform should reinforce this nice nest egg. Not so sure, assure other observers, the organization’s hypotheses being based on overly optimistic projections… Especially since a certain number of measures on the negotiation menu should already eat into the surpluses generated by the diet.

No room for maneuver

In terms of the revaluation of pensions, unions and employers should redefine the way in which pensions are revalued: the “sustainability coefficient” – one of the measures which allowed the system to return to balance, and which reduced the value from the point – is in their sights. The abandonment of the penalty system, which encouraged employees to retire later, should also be approved by the social partners, and cost at least 500 million euros, if it only concerns new retirees. Finally, the subject of financing small pensions – the executive would like Agirc-Arrco to participate – should also land on the negotiating table.

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“If all these new rules are implemented, the regime should find itself in balance, or at best with a slight surplus of 1 billion euros: there is not enough room for maneuver to do more, reduce contributions as employers would like or unreasonably revaluate supplementary pensions as employee unions would like to do, assures a source close to the matter. And the reserves are not infinite either: given the demographic balance, they will again reach the six-month floor within seven or eight years. »

There remains one last point which will occupy the social partners: the question of combining employment with pensions. With the pension reform, employees can now acquire new rights by continuing to work after having liquidated their pension… But what about the supplementary pension? The debate should above all be technical and focus on how to absorb the flow of additional files.

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