What you need to know about the pension reforms coming into effect next month

pension reform september

Here are all the big changes to France’s pensions system that will be coming into force from 1st September.  

1st September signals the start date of 13 out of 31 major shake-ups to France’s revamped – yet still controversial – pensions system.  Here’s a breakdown of the most substantial changes.


Four “special regimes” for a number of professions are being abolished. These are the Autonomous Paris Transport Authority (RATP), the electricity and gas industries (IEG), clerks and employees of notaries (CRPCEN), and the Banque de France. 

Anyone hired in these fields from 1st September 2023 will be subject to the new pension scheme, but for those employed prior to then, there will be certain allowances given in order to give people a chance to adjust accordingly. 

This “grandfather clause” includes an adjustment to an employee’s legal retirement age of two years. RATP drivers, for example, will soon become eligible for retirement not at 52, but at 54.  


There is some good news for certain employees and workers; those who have spent all their working lives at the minimum wage and who have a full-time post. Their monthly minimum payments will be going up by €100 for those retiring from 1st September.  

Minimum pensions will also now be based on the minimum wage rather than inflation.  

Increases in minimums are also being planned for those who stopped work before 1st September.   

“The Ministry of Labour has indicated that some [workers] will receive this increase from autumn 2023; the others from the spring of 2024 with retroactive effect from 1st September 2023,” explains an official government portal for the ministry. “This temporary difference in the payment of the valuation is explained by the analytical work necessary to determine the people who are entitled to it.” 


The idea of slowly easing one’s way out of work was once the sole domain of salaried employees, craftspeople and traders. Now this protections covering this process are being extended to include civil servants, liberal professionals and lawyers. 

In the case of refusal to transition from full-time to part-time, the employer must now justify that any part-time work requested by the employee is “incompatible with the economic activity of the company”. If there is no written response from the employer at the end of a period of two months, it is deemed to be agreed upon.  


Under this part of the new scheme, people can retire but continue to work and “double dip”, receiving both pension and pay, but only under certain conditions. 

According to the government, “Until now, this income subject to contributions did not give rise to any right to a supplementary pension. From now on, at the end of a period of combined employment and retirement, it will be possible under certain conditions to request a ‘second pension’ calculated on the basis of the same rules as the first pension.” 


The government is creating an investment fund for people who work in jobs that may cause them to incur physical problems, such as workers who are required to carry heavy loads, those obliged to be in sustained “awkward” positions at work, and workers “mechanical vibrations”.  

Additionally, night workers will be able to claim hardship points from 100 nights per year, down from 120 previously.  

The number of points acquired on professional prevention accounts will also now increase in proportion to the number of risk factors to which an employee is exposed. For example, an employee who is exposed to three risk factors will acquire 12 points per year or one point per quarter of exposure for each of the risks. 


Finally, children whose parents are deceased will be entitled to a pension up to the age of 25, or without limit for those under 21 and 80% disabled at the time of their parents’ deaths.  

For more information on the various incoming changes, please click here.  


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Photo source: Anthony Fomin, Unsplash