These specific conditions add to the complexity of a system that is already not entirely sustainable.
That all being said, if there is one segment of French society that has been affected the least during his crisis, it is the retired population. A simple factor can explain this observation: their non-indexed pensions are not dependent on the current economic situation, sparing retirees from a drop in their purchasing power. The opposite is true for the active population, whose income level was directly affected by the crisis, due to lower revenues and higher unemployment.
With lower contributions from the active population and the overall gradual aging of the French society (thus, more and more pensions to fund), there is no doubt that the financial perspectives of the system are gloomy. As a matter of fact, the pension system deficit, originally expected to reach 27 billion euros by 2030 (described in the Retirement Guidance Council [COR] report of November 2019 as the worst-case scenario, but which is the one that Institut Montaigne actually anticipates) should actually reach 30 billion at the end of the decade. Moreover, the COR report sets the pension system deficit at 25 billion euros as early as 2020.
How can we prevent the system from crumbling ?
Firstly, it is fundamental to instill a sense of solidarity among the different generations and to develop a social and political narrative built on unity and humanity. To change the narrative around the retirement system, which has been a major topic of debate since the election of President Emmanuel Macron in 2017, the government needs to carry out a significant process of reform.