Revaluation of pensions: who are the losers and the winners?

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It was a campaign promise. A real commitment made when he had to defeat Marine Le Pen again, after she also made it to the second round of the presidential election. To convince his electorate and make sure to tilt the vote in his favor, the Head of State unveiled several of the measures he intended to take. One of them concerned retirees quite directly: it was then a question of revaluing retirement pensions so as to protect retirees from inflation. This was not yet as high as it can be today, but the 1.1% increase applied in January was de facto not enough to maintain their purchasing power.

The President of the Republic, who was able to get re-elected, did indeed keep his promise. Some legislative difficulties prevented him from proceeding as quickly as he had hoped to do, of course, but retirees were able to benefit from a 4% increase in their pension from the general scheme this Friday, September 9, 2022, date of payment of the sums due for the month of August. Because the increase was retroactive, they also affected the revaluation planned for the month of July which, on average, represents an increase of around one hundred euros, explained the economist Philippe Crevel in our columns.

Only, here it is: everyone does not benefit as much from this increase in pensions. It makes, it is undeniable, losers and winners. What caste do you belong to, exactly?

Only retirement pensions from the main scheme have benefited, for the time being, from a revaluation calculated on the basis of inflation. This is good news for all retirees, especially since the increase in the tax scale should prevent them from unpleasant threshold effects. But it benefits employees more than executives, recalls the director of the Cercle des Savers. In question ? The very composition of their retirement pension. The pension of the general scheme represents only 40% of what executives receive, on average. For non-executive employees, it is necessary to count around 70%, underlines Le Figaro. Very concretely, this means that the income of former workers who did not hold a management position is proportionally increased more than the others. It is necessary to count on an increase in the final amount of around 2.8% for the latter, against only 2% on average for executives.

“Pension schemes do not converge but they will diverge even more due to inflation. Inflation will accentuate the differences between the French”, judges also Valérie Batigne, president of the specialized firm Sapiendo, that our colleagues have asked about the issue. And yet, non-executive retirees are not even the best off!

In the end, continues Le Figaro, it is the civil servants who emerge as the big winners from this second revaluation (it occurs after the mechanical increase in pensions, applied on January 1 of each year). And for good reason ! Unlike executives who have worked in the private sector throughout their professional career, civil servants depend almost exclusively on pensions from the general scheme. It weighs for 98% of the total amount of their pension, underline our colleagues. Clearly, the estimated gain for these retirees is 3.9% – significantly more than the rest of the workers.

This does not mean that former civil servants do not benefit from any supplementary pension: they also contribute to the RAFP, the additional civil service pension. This is a specific device which makes it possible to consequently supplement the amount collected in fine.

Before declaring the civil servants the absolute big winners of the revaluation of retirement pensions in 2022, it is important to point out two other important phenomena. First, Philippe Crevel emphasizes again, a third increase awaits all retirees. Its exact amount is not known, since it must still be discussed during the parliamentary debates relating to the vote on the PLFSS 2023 (Social Security Financing Bill for 2023). It will, whatever happens, be applied when pensions are paid in January 2023. Here again, it should mainly benefit former non-executive employees and civil servants, since it will concern pensions from the general scheme.

That being said, Agirc-Arrco has also announced a revaluation of supplementary pensions, which do not depend on the State. The exact amount of the rate applied has yet to be revealed, but the pension fund has already indicated that it would be more generous than that applied in July. It should a priori be between 4.9 and 5.2%, which implies a particularly significant gain for executives, since it applies to around 60% of their pension. In total, explained Planet, it would therefore be necessary to count between 42 and 130 euros more approximately, for a pension of between 1,000 and 3,000 euros at the base. How to exceed the earnings of others? Maybe.