The executive has never coveted so closely the jackpot from the private supplementary pension scheme. It was through the voice of the Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt, ten days ago – in the final stretch of negotiations on a new agreement on this regime, Agirc-Arrco – that employers and certain unions have learned: the executive plans to take between 1 billion and 3 billion euros per year from them.
Argument put forward? The pension reform should bring in the equivalent to this organization, a figure contested by the latter. The threat is taken all the more seriously as in its Social Security finance bill (PLFSS, article 9, paragraph 10) the government introduces the principle of a financial contribution from Agirc-Arrco.
“We should suffer the mismanagement of the State”
Concern and anger have reigned in recent days in the ranks of employee and employer organizations. “In the PLFSS, it is written in black and white that Agirc-Arrco must participate in the general balance of pension plans. Clearly, they are taking a bite out of private pension contributions,” says Michel Beaugas of FO. “A scandal”, sums up the CGT. Same astonishment at the CFDT, where Yvan Ricordeau recalls that the “government gave up on setting up a universal system in 2019, therefore no solidarity between regimes. It’s very clear ! » hammers Marylise Léon’s right arm.
A feeling of dismay shared by this person close to the employers: “These billions belong to private sector employees! The system has been managed to the nearest euro for seventy-five years, with efforts required until recently through savings measures. And there we would have to suffer the mismanagement of the State, and pay for public systems which are all in deficit! This opens a serious crisis! » he denounces.
Suffice it to say that the last negotiation session scheduled for this Wednesday, October 4, on highly anticipated decisions such as the revaluation of supplementary pensions and other favorable measures for future retirees, is not opening under the best auspices. What will happen next Wednesday? One thing is certain, the discussions will continue very late. The employers have still not laid down their cards on what they will accept or not, while waiting for a new estimate in the face of the financial uncertainties that this drain raises.
A plan in good financial health
The regime is now in good health and has a comfortable reserve of 68 billion euros (enough to last nine months without any revenue). It should have 3 to 4 billion euros in surpluses in 2023, intended for the increase in the supplementary pensions of the 13 million retirees. “Unless the State takes one or two billion from us in 2024, and that changes everything! » reacts someone close to the matter, knowing that one billion allows you to finance 1% of revaluation.
The unions also demanded a minimum increase of 4.8% on November 1 (the level of inflation), or even 5.2%, the equivalent of the increase announced by Bruno Le Maire for the general system. The employers intend to defend an increase of 4.6%, limited to the evolution of salaries.
Another subject to be decided, the abandonment of the 10% penalty so far applied for three years to those who leave at full rate at the legal age, which had made it possible to redress the accounts since 2019. Minimum annual cost: 500 million euros. The employers are only pleading for future retirees affected by the reform. The unions, almost all of them, are demanding that the abandonment of this measure applies to both new and old retirees. As for the combination of employment and retirement, which until now did not open additional rights, the employers want to limit the measure of awarding Agirc-Arrco points to a Social Security ceiling (which would cost 400 million euros per additional year), the unions are not requesting.
“There is no question of signing an agreement if the State maintains its financial requirements”
Finally, there remains the thorny question of the regime’s participation in financing small pensions so that they reach 85% of the minimum wage (the famous Mico). The employers are leaning towards a contribution of 400 million euros, the share estimated by the scheme for private sector retirees. A concession deemed “legitimate” in this respect, which would be released to the government to settle all accounts. Sufficient ? Obviously, according to the latest discussions with social partners, Olivier Dussopt still demands two to seven times more.
In short, “are we going to reach an agreement or not?” » asks Christelle Thiefinne of the CFE-CGC. “We have no choice but to find him. Otherwise, employers will have to explain to retirees why they will not have an increase in their supplementary pension on November 1st! » says Michel Beaugas of FO. But “there is no question of signing an agreement if the State maintains its financial requirements” warns an employer source, “because this would ultimately amount to accepting the nationalization of Agirc-Arrco and trampling on social dialogue on the eve of the major conference of October 16” (a social conference on salaries below the minimum wage, announced at the end of August by Emmanuel Macron). Suffice to say that the phones will not finish heating up by Wednesday.