les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Thursday, December 05, 2019

The strike

There's a national strike today to protest at pensions reform. The pensions situation in France is quite complicated. Essentially you can currently retire at any age after 62, but certain jobs have special arrangements. For example, because railway workers have a really hard and nasty job they can retire earlier.

Not only that, but the retirement and health system is divided into organisations a bit like unions, so that you pay into the "regime" for your profession. That means that our regime, the one for priests, monks and nuns, gives us quite a good deal for health cover but doesn't provide much of a pension since it is tailored for folk who don't have families, and who end their lives in religious retirement homes.

Over the years these systems become more and more complicated, with loads of special cases, so the government wants to simplify the system. This may mean that some people lose some of their special conditions for retirement. It also almost certainly means that people will end up retiring later.

In the UK the government raised retirement ages and I don't remember much fuss about it. Probably people wrote to their MPs. Anyway for Pat and I to get our state pensions we will need to work until November 2025, when we'll both be 66. This would be a difficult time to return to the UK and we could never afford this flat on our various pensions, so, all being well, we hope to retire from the mission in the Spring of 2026 and return to the UK. We have not yet talked about this with UFM, though we've started talking it through with the church here.

In France people do make a fuss. It's the normal democratic process here. The government proposes some legislation that will change people's lives and people march through the streets to encourage them not to go too far and not to remove their privileges.

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