Wage or deferred income ? Moving towards a new retirement system in France
The relations between resource types, modes of calculating retirement pensions, and the principles that legitimate those modes that have been operative in France since the late 1980s are analyzed. The preferred approach to retirement pensions in French reforms has been to see them as deferred income, and this applies indifferently to integration of the various retirement schemes, pension indexation and contribution level, and the policy of promoting capitalization. However, empirical study of retirement entitlements for the main retirement schemes brings to light another approach : retirement pensions as a continued wage. With regard to individuals’ statuses, what are the effects of the calculation modes and resource types characteristic of these differing conceptions of retirement pensions (a form of savings or a continued wage) ? Up against contrasting current images of retirees as either provident creatures or welfare recipients, the author here identifies a third : people who continue their lives as employees, though no longer subject to employer-imposed work constraints.