The battle of opinion has largely begun on pensions.
The task of the government, after the announcement of its reform, now looks like a long steep, even mountainous road to reverse the trend.
Because the polls follow one another and demonstrate the rejection of all those who will be impacted: young people, employees, civil servants... The survey of the Montaigne Institute that we publish exclusively and which dissects the hard points among the active people - therefore excluding pensioners, who are more in favor of a step back to preserve the system — is without appeal.
The beating heart of the working population rejects out of hand any increase in the legal retirement age.
First shocking figure: “Only 7% of respondents are in favor of going beyond 62 years”, reveals Bertrand Martinot, economist and author of this study carried out with a sample of 5,001 working people.
Among the pros in raising the age, we find those aged 60 and over (19%), men (8%), craftsmen/tradesmen/entrepreneurs (11%) and CSP+ executives (9% ).
Another salient light, the current retirement age of 62 (a limit set since 2010) is already considered “excessive” by half (48%) of respondents, and 45% consider it “appropriate”.
“It shows how deep rejection is in people's minds.
Note that this has increased since 2021, ”continues the economist from the Institut Montaigne.
Stronger hostility among young people
In detail, the massive "no" to the decline of age knows no socio-professional border.
Whether they are workers, employees, civil servants, agents of special regimes, executives... In short, all are opposed to it without distinction.
With nevertheless stronger positions among young people, the most hostile, compared to seniors who are nevertheless affected in the short term by this reform.
"A rejection, however, slightly less pronounced among the self-employed and the CSP +, no doubt because the latter are already retiring on average later, which makes these categories less affected by an increase in the legal age", decrypts Bertrand Martinot.
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Dissatisfaction felt at work, physical strain, psychological burden, working time?
None of the themes put forward seems to explain this opposition, the survey still teaches us.
“For example, an elderly industrial worker who is tired of the arduous nature of his job does not have a significantly higher probability of rejecting the raising of the legal age than a young employee who is fully satisfied with his management and who declares that he is very reconcile his professional life and his private life", says the Institut Montaigne.
An observation that speaks volumes, insists Bertrand Martinot: "Because if opinions in relation to the legal age are not linked to individual working conditions, it is because we are in the presence of a collective dynamic that goes far beyond the simple question of pensions.
It reflects a more general political crisis (distrust of the government, general feeling of injustice) no doubt accompanied by a form of anesthesia in relation to the situation of public finances...", analyzes this recognized expert who has worked behind the scenes of power (he was notably a social adviser under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy).
44% are ready to leave earlier with a reduced pension
In this context, companies will have to roll out the red carpet for seniors, in particular by refining the end of careers.
"They will not have a choice," said Bertrand Martinot.
Because a relative majority (41%) of respondents say they want working conditions to be adjusted before retirement.
Only 38% want to work until retirement “under the same conditions as today”.
What leave a latitude to various possibilities provided for in the reform project presented last Tuesday by Elisabeth Borne.
The typical profile of the employee wishing to adapt is one who has a long seniority (at least 15 years) and does not envisage either retraining or professional mobility.
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A minority of employees (about 20%) say they are, however, ready to work less or on different functions at the end of their career.
In some cases (14%), they could agree to see their remuneration reduced a few years before retirement, through reduced working hours, or a change of job.
Finally, 6% of employees would like to continue working after retirement via combined employment and retirement.
One of the conclusions of this survey drives the point home of the difficulty encountered by the government in winning this battle of public opinion.
To the question "if it were possible, would you be ready to retire earlier with a reduced pension?"
”: 44% of respondents answer yes!
With in detail, 51% of people under 35, 46% among men, 51% in the industry and transport sectors, and 62% among farmers.
In the "no" camp, we find women at 58%, people aged 60 and over (78%), service employees (58%), teachers and social action officials (59%)... In other words, categories with low or medium salaries who worry about not having enough to live on with their retirement pension.