İrem UZUN -TDO- Self-employed private sector workers from across France, including lawyers, airline pilots, doctors and other health professionals, are to protest in Paris against the government’s pension changes. The demonstration, which went from Bastille to Opera, was the latest in a wave of protests against Macron's signature reform: streamlining France's complex and expensive pension system that allows some French workers to retire as young as 50.
Christiane Féral-Schuhl, the president of the National Bar Council, said the demonstration on Monday would be “historic”. “Our status is independent; it’s neither that of the civil servants nor salaried staff. We have no guarantee of employment or social protection. We finance our contributions 100%. It’s not possible to mix this with other schemes … it would be like mixing cabbages and carrots,” Féral-Schuhl told Le Parisien.
The plan will streamline France's 42 retirement systems into a single point-based system for all workers, public and private sector alike, and abolish special provisions for some workers. It will also introduce a minimum pension. The new point system will come into place starting in 2022 for the youngest workers, and then gradually for older workers. It will only affect those born after 1974.
The bill has been approved by the French cabinet. After it is examined by the parliamentary committee, made up of 70 MPs, it will be presented to the national assembly on 17 February for a first vote before being sent to the upper house, the senate. The government is aiming to have the bill passed before the summer recess and to roll out the new system on 1 December.