What will the outcome be of the final round of negotiations for Agirc-Arrco supplementary pensions: bonus-malus, financing of the general scheme…?

l’essentiel La date du vendredi 29 septembre marque l’avant-dernière session de négociations portant autour du futur pilotage de l’Agirc-Arrco, la caisse de retraite complémentaire des salariés du privé. Qu’attendre de cette pénultième séquence ? Quels points ont déjà été actés ? Lesquels sont en suspens ? La Dépêche du Midi fait le point.

A new sequence that could soon signal the end of the game: employers and unions meet again on Friday, September 29th to discuss the future amount of supplementary pensions, a date considered as the second-to-last session before a possible framework agreement redefining the rules of the Agirc-Arrco system.

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Géré paritairement, ce régime verse chaque année plus de 87 milliards d’euros de pensions à 13 millions de retraités. Le dernier accord-cadre, conclu en 2019, arrive à échéance, et syndicats et patronat ferraillent depuis un mois pour définir les règles qui s’appliqueront dès le 1er novembre, pour la période 2023-2026. Trois réunions ont déjà eu lieu, et les deux dernières, prévues vendredi 29 septembre et mercredi 4 octobre, pourraient encore faire monter la tension d’un cran.

End of the 10% penalty

During the previous negotiation session on September 20, the famous « malus » (or solidarity coefficient) was abolished, which was a major concern for the unions and their top priority. This mechanism, implemented in 2019 during a period of financial difficulties to replenish funds, aimed to encourage employees to work an additional year, up to the age of 63 at that time, even if they already met the requirements for full retirement benefits. Otherwise, their supplementary pension would be reduced by 10% for three years.

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« I cannot reword »

« Contribution » à la revalorisation des petites pensions

During this fourth sequence, a much more sensitive notion has also been brought up at the table: the idea that Agirc-Arcco « contributes » to the increase of small pensions, as planned by the retirement reform. While employers believe that « Agirc-Arcco should do its part, » as stated by Eric Chevée, negotiator for the CPME (Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises), unions, on the other hand, believe that if « the government has committed to doing it, it is up to them to provide the funds, » as stated by Michel Beaugas, representative of Force Ouvrière.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, took a tougher stance by stating that the government sees it as « normal for there to be a contribution [from Agirc-Arrco] to the overall balance of the retirement system. » This statement is seen as a « threat » by the unions, who consider this decision to be « unthinkable, » as stated by the CFDT.

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During the upcoming session on September 29th, the employers’ association may present an initial draft of a text that « could serve as a basis for discussions, » according to the largest union in France, which is considering a mechanism to increase the pensions of those who continue working while receiving their retirement benefits.

22 milliards d’euros supplémentaires pour le régime complémentaire

According to several trade unions, the retirement reform, which includes raising the legal retirement age from 62 to 64, is expected to bring in an additional 22 billion euros to the system over the next fifteen years, based on one of several scenarios studied. These funds, according to CGT and Force Ouvrière, « should be returned to retirees and workers » who are « bearing the cost » of the reform.

However, the employers’ organization adds a nuance: the current reserve represents « nine months » of payments, according to Diane Milleron-Deperrois, the leader of the employers’ delegation. « This is nothing » compared to the « commitments » of the system towards current and future retirees, which amount to 3,200 billion euros, she says.

Note that unlike the general system, the Agirc-Arrco has generated substantial surpluses in recent years: 2.6 billion in 2021 and over 5 billion in 2022. The system also has 68 billion euros in « reserves », which is more than enough to comply with its « golden rule », which requires having at least six months of advance payments over a 15-year period.

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