Between raising the legal retirement age, increasing the contribution period and abolishing special schemes, the pension reform provides for a large number of changes for the French. Often mentioned, the question of hardship comes up in the debates for workers worried about the future consequences on their quality of life. While the current system already makes it difficult to take hardship into account, what is planned for its improvement in the next pension reform?

Despite government announcements and a set of reassuring communications, the French fear the future of their professional daily lives, especially in the context of arduous jobs. If the executive claims to want to “improve the consideration of hardship” at work, in fact, all the procedures put in place since 2017 are experiencing failures. As Le Monde recalls, the unions discussed, after the presentation of the bill on January 23, existing systems that have been gradually undermined since Emmanuel Macron came to power in 2017.

In 2014, the Touraine law had thus created the personal hardship prevention account (C3P), which allowed employees exposed to difficult working conditions to accumulate training financing points, but also part-time work without a drop in salary. and a retirement two years earlier. Among the ten risk factors, the government of Emmanuel Macron has removed four, excluding, therefore, workers such as movers, construction workers or hairdressers.

In order to remedy these shortcomings, the government has chosen to fully integrate the notion of hardship into the next pension reform. He mentions three “ergonomic risks” represented by carrying heavy loads, awkward postures and mechanical vibrations. These are now part of a new Attrition Prevention Investment Fund.

The executive specifies that its “mission will be to co-finance preventive actions with employers (awareness, adaptation of positions, training and retraining) for the benefit of these exposed employees”. However, this change is not accompanied by a new possibility of retiring before the legal age. This hardship investment fund will be endowed with one billion euros.

Thanks to the new pension reform, the calculation of hardship points for employees exposed to C2P risk factors will be modified. It is expected that the threshold for “night work” will drop from 120 to 100 nights, while that for “work in successive alternating shifts” will change from 50 to 30 nights. In total, approximately 60,000 people will enter C2P.

The government also plans to uncap C2P points. The pension reform should thus allow employees to accumulate more than 100 points during their career, which was not authorized until then. At the same time, reinforced medical monitoring will be put in place with a mandatory end-of-career visit at age 61 with a view to encouraging early departure at age 62.