Effects of Pension Reforms on Gender Inequality in France

By Carole Bonnet, Sophie Buffeteau, Pascal Godefroy, David Tash


Though the question of pension disparities between men and women and their evolution over time has rarely been examined in France, the few existing studies conclude that the pension gap between men and women will progressively narrow up to 2040. This article follows on from this research by assessing the degree of gender-neutrality of the French pension reforms of 1993 and 2003. To this end, the entitlements of the 1965-74 cohorts were projected using the Destinie dynamic microsimulation model for three different scenarios: before the 1993 reform; between the 1993 and 2003 reforms; and after the 2003 reform. We demonstrate that although the provisions are gender-neutral, these reforms appear to have a more negative impact on women’s pension entitlements than on those of men. Without the reforms and assuming a continuation of current labour force participation trends, men of the 1965-74 cohorts would receive a mean pension that is 47% higher than that of women. With the 1993 reform, the ratio is 1.54, and with that of 2003, it is 1.59.

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