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Lessons Nigeria Can Learn From The French Pension Reform Crisis

Labour Unions in France have embarked on a nationwide protests in the last four weeks pushing for a halt to the proposed pension reform by the government.

Public utilities such as rail and electricity have been drastically hit by the industrial action of the French Union.

What Exactly Are The Issues
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron and his government have proposed a reform to the existing pension system which is said to be numbering about 42. It is proposing to collapsing all existing pension system into a single one. Other items being proposed include:

  • Having a unified minimum retirement age of 62 years across board.
  • A minimum monthly pension of €1,000 (N402,230) for those who have worked a full career.
  • Introduction of incentives to those that retiree later than 62 years.
  • The reforms will only apply in full to people entering the labour market after 2022.

The Unions are of the opinion that the new proposals are discriminatory and particularly have the tendency of making them work for longer years and not necessarily earn a good pension commensurate. They also are of the opinion that the government is using the reform as a guise to reduce spending and balance state budget. They are calling on the government to cancel it entirely.

The government on the other hand has explained that the reform will only come into effect by 2022 and it will not be applicable to those born before 1975. It also explained that the application is going to be gradual. The government has promised to go ahead with its planned reform but only promising to improve on it but not dropping it.

As at the time of writing this, there is no respite in sight. Lives have been affected negatively as a result of the industrial action. All these could have been avoided entirely.

Lessons For The Nigerian Pension Industry Policy Makers
Reforms are inevitable in our ever changing environment. It is therefore important to carry every stakeholder along before reaching a conclusion on any reform that will affect the stakeholders’ wellbeing.

Having a good intention or plan is not as important as letting the party on behalf of whom such good intention or plan is made aware of such intention; and agree with you in all ramifications.

There will also be time for pension reforms in Nigeria, it is important that our policy makers ensure that all stakeholders are carried along. They should ensure that effective communication is made as this is key in bringing about mutual understanding and avoiding unnecessary breakdown in public services.

Doing all of these will also help prevent any breakdown in law and order that could ensue due to misinformation or lack of it. It will also show that you respect other peoples’ opinions and contributions. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us here Or you can chat with us on Whatsapp

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