The Straits Times
Published on Oct 30, 2012

France's baby-boom pensioners head back to job market


PARIS (REUTERS) - When angry workers took to the streets of France two years ago to protest moves to increase the retirement age from 60 to 62, one pensioner had trouble sympathising with their cause.

Having fallen from nightclub manager at the peak of her career to eating at a soup kitchen, Ms Francoise Peter wanted more than anything else to find another job.

"I sat there in front of my television thinking: are we living in the same world?" said Ms Peter, who says her ¤1,000 (S$1,580) monthly state pension is not enough to make ends meet. "People in this country want to take it easy, to retire early and lead a quiet life. But there are no guarantees in life."

A surge in the number of pensioners heading back to work has come about despite a reluctance by President Francois Hollande's Socialist government to pursue new reforms after the fierce 2010 protests that greeted those by his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.