Pensions, unemployment insurance, energy: the calendar of reforms coming in early 2023

The beginning of 2023 will be marked by the presentation and implementation of several reforms by the government. Constantly postponed, the pension reform was to be the subject of announcements from Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne on 10 January. On the same day, a solemn vote will be held in the National Assembly on the bill regarding the acceleration of the deployment of renewable energy. Another aspect of the executive’s “low-carbon” strategy: a nuclear bill will also be debated in parliament from mid-January. Finally, the new unemployment insurance reform – as controversial as the first – comes into force on 1 February. Capital goes back in detail on these various files, which will mark the first months of the year 2023.

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10 January: presentation of the pension reform

The year 2023 “will be the year of a pension reform which aims to ensure the balance of our system in the coming years and decades”, declared Emmanuel Macron during his wishes to the French on 31 December. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne welcomes the social partners on Tuesday 3 January and Wednesday 4 January, before presenting the outline of the reform on Tuesday 10 January. This will be the subject of a text that will be debated in Parliament in the coming weeks, with the aim of applying the new rules “from the end of the summer of 2023”, confirmed the President of the Republic during his wishes.

The main measure (and the most controversial) of this reform is the postponement of the legal retirement age to 64 or 65 years. If this issue is not yet decided, the government seems to have already made its decisions on other aspects of the reform, such as raising the minimum pension to 85% of Smic or maintaining it at 62 years of retirement due to incapacity.


The pension reform: what has already been decided

10 January: solemn vote in the National Assembly on the bill on renewable energy

On January 10, the solemn vote will also take place in the National Assembly on the bill that aims to speed up the production of renewable energy. The text, which was the subject of heated debates in Parliament, revolves around three axes: simplifying procedures to reduce the timeframes of renewable energy projects, mobilizing abandoned or degraded areas to increase facilities and better sharing the value with the territories. Among other things, it plans to map the priority maritime and land areas for setting up wind turbines in 2024, to identify the “acceleration zones” for offshore wind power in 2050 or to make the installation of solar panels on roofs mandatory. of outdoor parking spaces of more than 1,500 square meters.


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17 January: Parliament’s consideration of the nuclear law begins

In parallel with the future law on the acceleration of the production of renewable energy, the executive also wants to facilitate the development of nuclear energy in order to achieve CO2 neutrality by 2050. During his campaign for the presidential election, Emmanuel Macron had said that he wanted to build six new reactors. To achieve this, the government introduced a bill in the Senate aimed at speeding up the commissioning of new reactors in existing nuclear power plants.

And this by temporarily simplifying the procedures: the text allows for faster posting of local planning documents or even to dispense with building permits for installations and works related to the creation of a nuclear reactor. The consideration of the bill in the upper house of the Folketing starts on Tuesday 17 January.

1 February: application of the new social security fund reform

From 1 February 2023, new people registered with Pôle Emploi will see their duration of compensation reduced by 25%. A job seeker who today would be entitled to 24 months of unemployment will thus only be compensated for 18 months under the new rules. This is what is planned for under the new unemployment insurance reform, which Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt presented on 21 November. More specifically, it provides the opportunity to modulate the compensation rules according to the labor market situation. If unemployment is below 9% – currently the latter is 7.3% – the duration of the compensation is reduced by 25%. If this threshold of 9% is exceeded in the future, or if the unemployment rate increases by 0.8 points over a quarter, then the current rules, without reducing the duration of the compensation, will be applied again. Will not be concerned about the intermittent of the show, the recipients of a contract of professional security, the sailors-fishermen, the dock workers, the expatriates and the jobseekers abroad.

The draft decree to implement this reform was sent to the social partners on Christmas Eve. And surprisingly, the government plans to go even further: if unemployment falls to 6% or below, the rules will be further tightened and the duration of compensation will be reduced by 40%. A new provision was decided without discussion with the social partners, which angered the left and the trade unions. And the latter is not at the end of their sentence: according to Les Echos, the executive power would consider attaching the parliament to the supervision of the rules of unemployment insurance. This can further reduce the room for maneuver of the social partners in this area.


Unemployment insurance: those who will escape the 40% cut during the duration of the compensation

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