Is one in two French people really unemployed when they retire? The answer

The rretired, and the reform that is beginning to raise the legal retirement age for workers, has been the subject of heated debate. Especially during the presidential campaign. In particular, we heard on several occasions representatives of political parties put forward strong arguments against the forthcoming reform.

“Half the people who retire are unemployed. », advanced Jordan Bardella, president of the National Rally. But this same argument is also found in the speeches of the leaders of France Insoumise. On the extreme right as on the extreme left, this same assertion. But Objeko may disappoint you, our colleagues from the online magazine for the Point deny this assertion, with supporting evidence.

Indeed, it is possible to be against the pension reform. But to be so while having valid arguments to oppose to the government. The fact that one out of two French people is unemployed at the time of his cessation of activity would, on the other hand, be totally false… And above all, these political parties are not the only ones to contradict each other in the field. It seems rather common in the world of politics…

Retirement and unemployment are so closely linked?

It was therefore the increase king of the fierce opponents of the systemic reform that Emmanuel Macron wants. The fact of saying that half of the French are unemployed when it is time for them to retire. What is true is that in favor of such an argument, pushing back the legal retirement age no longer makes any sense. On the other hand, it is necessary to specify from where does the president of the National Gathering come out of such figures.

However, doing the calculations, Point was able to see that these figures were simply incorrect. In short, to argue against pension reform, we will have to find a better argument. And why not, Objeko grant you, an argument that can be real for once. Unfortunately, very often the arguments of the most emblematic political figures are only supported by the force of conviction of those who express them. When the time for proof arrives, few are those who manage to justify their words in an unstoppable way.

“In 2020, 63% of new retirees who had contributed, at one time or another, to the supplementary scheme, were indeed employed the year before their retirement. They occupied a position mainly in the private sector, for more than 43%, but not only. These young retirees also came from the public sector (12%) or were self-employed (6%); 1% of them previously worked in a special scheme. »so indicate our colleagues in the columns of the Point.


“What about the remaining 40% of new 2020 retirees? (…) Were they unemployed as the president of the RN asserts? In reality, only 11.5% pointed to Pôle emploi. It should be noted that they may have held a job for part of the year preceding their retirement, but were subsequently unemployed. This is the case for 23% of them in the 12 months before, 42% in the 24 months and 62% in the 36 months before (…). A further 6.5% were disabled or sick. That is nearly 20% of new retirees. »they added, following a graphic that could not be clearer.

No, half of French people are not unemployed at retirement age

Certainly, with such an argument the politicians who used it were sure to make an impression. But in reality, only 11.5% of new retirees were unemployed in 2020. Or 20% at most if you count all the new retirees. That said, in the details of these figures still hide some unfortunate elements. Elements that may make Jordan Bardella wince. As to all those who advance such an argument finally.

On the one hand, more than 60% of new retirees unemployed before retirement are women. And more than one in four new retirees receives unemployment when it is actually a separate pension. Invalidity or incapacity pension in particular, which unemployment supplements. Still others fall into the long-term unemployment account. Here again, percentages which do not serve the argument of “half of the French are unemployed” when the time comes to cease its activity.

In short, let us be vigilant with the arguments that we put forward. From one political side or another, the strongest sentences are sometimes the weakest. Nothing like evidence, backed up by numbers, to make an argument reliable. However, against the reform that Emmanuel Macron wishes to put in place, Objeko reminds you that the most well-heard of arguments therefore do not hold water.