Macron and retirees: a complicated relationship since 2017

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Galloping inflation has a strong impact on the purchasing power of retirees. The amendment was adopted and then rejected overnight from Tuesday to yesterday in the Assembly aiming to fully offset the effects of inflation. However, retirees will benefit from a 4% increase in the amount of their pensions, which was voted this month.

Between Emmanuel Macron and the French retirees, relations have not been good since the election of the Minister of Economy of François Hollande at the Elysee Palace in 2017. From the beginning of his first five-year term, the decision to ask ” an effort from the elderly” is very serious. The 1.7 points increase in the Generalized Social Contribution (CSG), which took place on January 1, 2018 for the part of retirees earning more than 1,200 euros per month, contributed to seniors feel mistreated by the executive. often challenged by this move. “I know retirees whose CSG increases are not happy. I will explain everything to you,” Emmanuel Macron launched in a video published on his Youtube channel… In vain and many retirees found themselves in the Yellow Vests movement.

Rise of CSG: Macron admits his mistake

In December 2018, faced with this unprecedented and large social movement, the Head of State – who had already “corrected” the system for 100,000 moderate retirees – withdrew and realized that the effort to require retirees to have this increase in CSG “too much. significant and unfair”. “For” those who receive less than 2000 euros per month, in 2019 we will cancel the CSG increase incurred this year”, announced the President of the Republic during a televised intervention. “With this cancellation, 70% of retirees who no longer pay the CSG increase” then elaborated Benjamin Griveaux, the government spokesman.

The CSG episode, however, left traces among retirees, convinced that they had lost purchasing power. A study by the Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics Department (Drees) published in June 2020 confirmed that the average net pension fell in 2018 as a result of executive decisions. First due to the lack of revaluation of the basic schemes, starting with the Social Security old insurance, which slowed down the increase of the average gross pension up to 0.7% (1,432 euros, increase of children included), compared to 2.1% in 2017. This small gain was erased by the increase in the CSG rate for almost 60% of retirees: after social security contributions, the average net pension decreased by 0.7%, to 1,318 euros (surcharge for children).

“The narrative is not there” for the Confederal Union of the CGT retired

Throughout the five-year period, the loss of purchasing power was studied by IREF, a liberal think-tank, which compared the inflation rate from January 1, 2017 to January 1, 2022 with the indexation of pension from the regime. Result: a difference of 3.41% was measured. But the Institute of Public Policy (IPP) published a study in March showing that the overall impact of Emmanuel Macron’s socio-fiscal reforms between 2017 and 2022 was relatively positive on the standard of living of retirees with a slight increase of + 0.6% . With “relatively significant and local positive effects for the poorest retired households, concerned with the increase of the minimum age (Aspa) as well as for the richest, who benefit from the measures related of capital gains”, said the institute.

However, with the return of inflation caused by the war in Ukraine, pensioners find themselves like all French people greatly affected by rising prices. The revaluation of pensions by 4% from July, which was voted this month, should catch up to a large part of it. But for the representatives of retirees, the account is not there. “In an announcement on July 1 of a 4% increase only in pensions from the general scheme, 0% for supplementary pensions, the government laughed at us! The narrative is not there” estimated in July 6 the Confederal Union of CGT retired. And to continue: “If we add the cumulative loss from January 2008 to December 2021, despite the increase of 1.1% for the same year, it represents a drop equal to of a month’s pension, which is unbearable for all retirees, first and foremost. the weakest and women”.

Complementary pressure

The complementary Agirc – Arrco – which is related to 11.8 million CNAV retirees and is related to an average of almost 50% of the total amount of monthly pensions -, for their part, will be revalued in November, but in Only 2.9% suggested by the managers of the joint bodies. An increase that is considered insufficient in view of the Agirc – Arrco reserve of about 69 billion euros. The organization should reassess the situation in October before making a decision.

It is in this context that the centrist Charles de Courson’s amendment n° 194 to amend the finance bill that proposes an additional revaluation of 500 million euros for retirement pensions arrived in the hemicycle. The amendment provides for a revaluation of pensions taking into account the real level of inflation, ie 5.5% for 2022, while the government proposes a cumulative revaluation of 5.1% (1.1% in January then 4% in July). Adopted with 50.69% of the votes, then rejected, Bruno Le Maire asked for a new reading and obtained its withdrawal.

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