The French and retirement: the idea of ​​adding a share of capitalization is gaining ground – 05/19/2024 at 12:00

The French and retirement: the idea of ​​adding a share of capitalization is gaining ground – 05/19/2024 at 12:00
The French and retirement: the idea of ​​adding a share of capitalization is gaining ground – 05/19/2024 at 12:00

The French are evolving in the way they prepare for retirement (Photo credits: Adobe Stock – )

Even if they remain attached to the pay-as-you-go system, more and more French people are saving in parallel to ensure additional income when the time comes. In addition, the idea of ​​a mixed distribution/capitalization system is progressing in mentalities…

A peaceful relationship with this period of life

After a year in 2023 that generated anxiety due to pension reform, in 2024 the French have a more peaceful vision of this great transition that is retirement.

Thus, according to the BPCE Insurance Barometer (1), when the French are asked what this period of life inspires in them, the first word that comes up is “freedom” with 39% (+ 2 points compared to 2023) faced with “uncertainty” (34% vs. 33% last year).

Between the 2023 and 2024 editions, positive terms have gained ground compared to negative sentiments:

  • Fullness (19%, +1 point),

  • Hope (14%, +1 point)

  • Fear (15%, -1 point),

  • Sadness (7%, -1 point)

  • Anger (5%, -4 points)

Retirement is projected as a phase of personal development since half of French people want to take advantage of this important stage of life to take more time for themselves, for their loved ones (45%) and to travel more often (44%).

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More and more French people are preparing for their retirement on their own

However, the French are realistic and 65% believe that their pensions are or will be insufficient to live properly (2). They anticipate accordingly since 48% of workers say they save for their retirement “regularly” or “from time to time” (4).

This proportion increases overall with the age of the respondents but is already very high among new arrivals on the labor market:

  • 37% of 18-24 year olds

  • 46% of 25-34 year olds

  • 42% of 35-49 year olds

  • 57% of 50-64 year olds

Among the factors that could push the French to save more for their retirement, “the ability to live properly” (43%) and “remain financially independent” (37%) come first.

Capitalization retirement is no longer a taboo

Even if the French remain attached to the distribution system and want it to be maintained at 44% (2), capitalization retirement is no longer a taboo:

  • 41% of French people are in favor of setting up a mixed distribution/capitalization system

  • 15% of French people are even in favor of a system exclusively by capitalization.

Turning to a mixed system is also the popular solution to the question “how to secure the retirement system in France in the years to come?” » according to a survey carried out in 2023 (3):

  • Establish a mandatory share of funded retirement 43%

  • Increase contributions 31%

  • Extend working hours 19%

  • Reduce benefits 18%

Life insurance and rental real estate in mind when preparing for retirement

40% of French people believe that, over the past year, the value of their savings has decreased due to the return of inflation (2). Faced with rising prices, 65% of them are reducing their consumer spending while 27% have no other solution than to draw on their savings.

In this context, forced to choose, they initially favor building up precautionary savings over retirement savings.

However, they remain well aware of the issue and 48% believe that to maintain their standard of living in retirement, owning their main residence is the first solution to favor.

Among the other avenues to follow, life insurance comes in second position (18%), tied with rental real estate investment. Finally, retirement savings products only received 14% of the votes.


(1) Third edition of the BPCE L’Observatoire Insurance Barometer, April 2024.

(2) “The French, savings and retirement”, AG2R La Mondiale, Amphitéa, Cercle de l’évolution, 2023.

(3) OpinionWay survey for Les Echos Patrimoine / Le Conservateur, September 2023.

(4) “The French face change”, BPCE L’Observatoire Insurance Barometer, March 2024.

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