How much will the reform, each measure, each advance, each concession cost? This is one of the mysteries that the impact study on pension reform, probably presented this weekend, must solve. And one of the reasons why the social partners but also parliamentarians, insistently demand the famous financial figures. Some, unions and employers, to discuss it at the "conference of funders", scheduled for the end of the month. The others, deputies and senators, during the examination of the bill from February 17.
Because no one seems to know at this stage. The fund for supplementary pensions for private sector employees, Agirc-Arrco, has however just lifted a small corner of the veil on one of the emblematic and particularly contested measures of the reform: the drop in premiums for very senior executives. Tomorrow, working people will almost no longer contribute to the pay-as-you-go pension beyond 10,000 euros in monthly income (compared to 27,000 € today). In other words, for those who earn more than 120,000 euros net per year (three times the Social Security ceiling), or 300,000 people, the levy rate will drop. Less revenue coming in that could squeeze the universal system financially.
"A loss of 4.2 billion euros per year over the period 2025-2040"
According to an internal document from Agirc-Arrco dated January 17 that we were able to consult, the shortfall for the caisses turns out to be colossal in view of the deficit of 12 billion that the government is already trying to make up for putting the plan to break even by 2027. “In the case of a transition to a universal system without contributions paid beyond three social security ceilings ( Editor's note: that is, above € 10,000 per month ), l 'Effect for the Agirc-Arrco regime would be a loss of 4.2 billion euros per year on average over the period 2025-2040, ”said this study. By creating a "solidarity" contribution not constituting rights of 2.81% (only on salaries above € 10,000 per month), as provided for in the bill, this loss would be reduced to 3.7 billion euros per year between 2025-2040.
The Agirc-Arrco services also provide other figures which were not previously known. We will also have to finance pensions which will continue to be paid on the basis of the old rules. An expenditure whose amount is estimated on average at 3.7 billion euros per year between 2025-2040. And which will not reach extinction anytime soon: "In 2050, the amount of allowances to be paid on rights acquired before 2025 would still be 3.4 billion euros" and would drop to 2.9 billion euros in 2055 , 2.4 billion euros in 2060, 1.9 billion euros in 2,065 and 1.4 billion euros in 2,070.
The sling goes beyond white-collar workers
The subject is highly flammable in unions. First, the CFE-CGC, which demands that the current contribution rates be maintained. The managers' union denounces an unfunded measure and a loss of rights for managers, therefore a reduction in their pensions, who will have no other choice than that of individual capitalization. Worse, according to the managers' union, "this risks being borne by employees paid under this ceiling of 10,000 euros monthly".
The sling goes beyond the only white-collar workers. Because all the organizations of employees in the private sector are opposed to the funding of this measure being ultimately made through the use of the reserves of the complementary funds of employees, who contribute to Agirc-Arrco and have more than 70 billion d 'euros of woolen stockings in the event of a hard blow. "This would mean that all employees are involved for senior executives," also denounces Sophie Binet of the Ugict-CGT (executives).
A measure which, even if it represents only 1% of the total pension budget in France, risks worsening the current deficit and the overall cost of the reform. Politically, the question is also very sensitive because, in the name of solidarity between high incomes and others, it opens up a share of individual capitalization. So many thorns that could push the government to spread its calendar of premium cuts or to find revenue elsewhere.