The Impact of French Retirement Reforms on the Predictability of the Amount of Pension

Patrick AUBERT

Transparent pension rules imply that workers are able to predict, a few years before they retire, the approximate amount of public pension they will receive. This predictability of the amount of pension is also a necessary condition to enable workers to make an informed decision when they choose the age at which they wish to retire. However, the several retirement reforms across the past 20 years in France may have hindered the predictability of the level of pension in the French public pension system, by modifying calculation rules for workers who were already very close to retirement ages. We quantify this impact of retirement reforms on the predictability of pension for workers aged 50 and more, by running simulations using a microsimulation model. Although there exists in all cohorts a share of workers who were not impacted by retirement reforms -and therefore enjoyed a complete predictability of their pension-, this happens to concern only a minority of workers. Among all cohorts born between 1933 and 1956, most workers actually had to face changes in calculation rules after the age of 50, and therefore could only make at that age -and also often at the age of 55- a biased prediction of their future level of public pension. However, the change in the level of pension -either negative or positive- remains small in most cases.

Documents de travail
No G2014/04
Paru le : 31/03/2014