More and more seniors in a “lock of precariousness”

In Pont-Audemer (Eure), March 7, 2023.

Here is a battery of figures which will seize the contradictors of the government. According to a note released Thursday, May 11 by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee), the proportion of seniors who are neither employed nor retired has increased slightly over the past decade: in 2021, it reached 16%, on average, among people aged between 55 and 69, compared to 14% in 2014. This trend highlights the thorny question of keeping aging workers in work, at the very moment when the executive is forcing the population to stay in their jobs longer, the age of eligibility for a pension being pushed back to 64 by the law promulgated on 14 April.

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The author of the study, Eliette Castelain, is very cautious about the origins of the problem. It notes that, since 2014, the proportion of retirees has fallen by eight points, due to “especially the various reforms” : that, in particular, of November 2010, which shifted the legal retirement age from 60 to 62, and that of January 2014, which lengthened the contribution period required to be eligible for a full-rate pension.

At the same time, the percentage of working seniors has increased, largely as a result of these same reforms, “but without fully compensating” the decline in the proportion of retirees. Result: the share of individuals with neither a pension nor earned income has increased slightly (by two points, therefore, in seven years). They find themselves in what the economist Michaël Zemmour calls a “precariousness chamber” : they do not have a job and do not yet receive their pension (either because they are not entitled to it, or because they do not meet the conditions to be at the full rate).

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Very marked phenomenon among “little or no graduates”

Among people aged 55 to 61 who find themselves in such a situation, 19% are unemployed (i.e. ” in active search “ one position) and 45% are inactive, “for reasons of health or disability” : in other words, it is, most often, a fate that is suffered, as noted by INSEE. The “without salary or pension” (aged between 55 and 61) are 59% women. The phenomenon is very marked in those who are “little or no graduates”adds Eliette Castelain.

The note does not provide information on the resources of this category, but they very often come from unemployment benefits, social minima and disability pensions, as explained by a survey published in 2018 by the management of studies and statistics from social ministries.

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