Macron's pensions shake-up to take effect in 2025

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks as he visits Station F startup campus in Paris, France October 9, 2018. Ludovic Marin/Pool via Reuters -/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - A promised pensions overhaul by French President Emmanuel Macron will be introduced in 2025, but workers will retain benefits already accrued under the existing system, said the man liaising between government and unions over the reform.

A trade union leader and business lobby group representative said they understood it would take 40 years for the new system to be fully phased in.

The government wants to align the retirement systems in the public and private sectors as well as the variety of different pension set-ups for different professions.

The new single system would use points so that each euro paid in would give the same retirement benefits no matter what sector pensioners worked in.

Currently, retirement benefits are based on a worker’s salary during the last six months before retirement in the public sector and the average during the last 25 years in the private sector.

“The implementation of a new, universal system is a response to the fragility of our current system,” Jean-Paul Delevoye, Macron’s middleman, told a meeting with labor unions and business representatives.

Officials have said France’s legal retirement age will remain 62.

A decade ago, more than a million people took to the streets in protest against pension reform. France’s more hardline unions have warned of a repeat if the upcoming changes are not to their liking.

“We think this proposal will lower pensioners’ standard of living to near the poverty threshold,” said Catherine Perret, a negotiator for the militant CGT union.

Reporting by Caroline Pailliez; Writing by Brian Love; editing by Richard Lough and John Stonestreet