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France to trim senior pension increases
Old 03-06-2013, 08:15 AM   #1
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France to trim senior pension increases

Not sure if anyone noticed this article:

France Pension Reforms Dangerous Task For Hollande

Interesting quote:

"Putting more of the burden on older people could stave off growing resentment among a younger generation who will otherwise spend their lives funding generous retirements, the like of which they will never enjoy."

Seems to me that France is now moving the opposite direction from the U.S., perhaps realizing that everyone must bear some of the burden in righting the government balance sheet.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Grinch View Post
Seems to me that France is now moving the opposite direction from the U.S., perhaps realizing that everyone must bear some of the burden in righting the government balance sheet.
How is that? What movement in the US are you referring to?

From the article:"A "reform by stealth" to nudge people to work longer could also spare Hollande the reaction that met former president Nicolas Sarkozy when he forced up the retirement age by two years in 2010, prompting street protests and strikes.

"The French hate the idea of touching the retirement age, it's sacred. And now is not the time for a 'big bang' structural reform -- the system is too stretched to find any compromise," one of Hollande's aides told Reuters.

Pressed on the issue recently, government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem vowed people would not be made to work longer.

Instead, the aim will be to repair the short-term funding gap with nips and tucks that could save a few billion euros a year and study ways to end an entrenched early retirement habit that costs billions more in lost output and contributions."


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Old 03-06-2013, 09:35 AM   #3
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We are not anywhere close to France in terms of the social programs they offer their people. The young benefit also in many ways compared to ours.

For starters don't forget their national medical program. Children in France don't have to worry about mommy or daddy having enough money to pay for health care.

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The maternity and family risk. It includes daily allowances, the allowance for young children, family allowances, aid for child care and the bulk of housing assistance.
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French public nurseries and daycare centres are funded by local and regional authorities and by means-tested parental fees. Most are open 11 hours a day
Here is what the French kids get for lunch

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In France, lunch is considered the most important meal of the day. Students can get lunch at school or go home for it. Lunch is one to two hours long. French students are taught to take time to savor and enjoy their meals.[7] Students have to pay for the cafeteria lunch (the cost of the meal differs by region). The price of a meal is based on family income; students pay for half of the meal, while the school pays for the rest. For example, a typical meal may cost $6, with the family paying $3 instead of the full price.[8]
The 1971 food recommendation guideline stated that each meal should contain raw vegetables (such as salads and fruits), protein in the form of dairy product or milk, cooked vegetables twice per week, and carbohydrates for the remaining days.[8]The main course must contain meat, fish or eggs.[7]
The cafeteria serves up five-course meals, even for preschoolers.[9] Schoolkids eat the same thing as adults.[10] A school lunch in France contains an appetizer, salad, main course, cheese plate, and dessert.[9] Bread may be accompanied with each meal. Students eat potato leek soup, carrot and bean salad, lamb with saffron, assortment of cheeses, and grapefruit. Each meal is accompanied with water. French schools do not have vending machines.[11]
http://karenlebillon.com/french-school-lunch-menus/
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:06 AM   #4
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:44 PM   #5
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How is that? What movement in the US are you referring to?
The movement to which I am referring is a preference by many in Washington, D.C. not to touch entitlement programs, even for individuals who are yet to be eligible to receive their benefits. What makes the U.S. situation worse than France is that the younger generation is not only paying into the system to fund older generations, but is also suffering under the crushing weight of student loan debt.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:10 PM   #6
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It's inevitable. With an ageing population in many developed countries, governments have no choice but to curb pensions. Otherwise the working population will have to pay more taxes. It's simple arithmetic
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Grinch View Post
Not sure if anyone noticed this article:

France Pension Reforms Dangerous Task For Hollande

Interesting quote:

"Putting more of the burden on older people could stave off growing resentment among a younger generation who will otherwise spend their lives funding generous retirements, the like of which they will never enjoy."

Seems to me that France is now moving the opposite direction from the U.S., perhaps realizing that everyone must bear some of the burden in righting the government balance sheet.
Not exactly. The benefits they have far exceeds anything the US offers.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Stanley View Post
The French have this concept of a 'social contract' and I don't claim to fully understand its meaning and how it affects life in France. But, what I have observed is that nobody from the young to the very old wants to do away with the contract. Their goal is to make changes necessary to ensure it continues.
It all depends on what those changes are. The French government would seem to be adjusting pension increases after the retirement age of 62. This is unlikely to be sufficient to keep the French social contract permanently solvent. Further cuts will need to be made. The question is who will be required to bear them. There is already significant negative press regarding high tax rates, so the solution does not simply lie with soaking the rich.

The U.S. could take some lessons from this French exercise (French lesson?), because the "social contract" in France is seemingly a stronger force than our historical entitlements.
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