24 Sep 2011

Higher pension age comment in France

6:01 am on 24 September 2011

Officials in France are trying to play down a remark by Prime Minister Francois Fillon suggesting France should align its pension policy with Germany, which has voted to raise its retirement age to 67.

That's five years above the French age.

Mr Fillon touched on the issue on Thursday at a speech in Paris, saying France needed to accelerate fiscal convergence with Germany in a range of areas, including retirement.

"We will have to move toward a common corporate tax policy between France and Germany, we will have to move toward a common work week, we will have to move toward a common retirement age," he said.

France's retirement age is lower than in many other European states. It is part of a social welfare system that few politicians dare to criticise in public.