Case | HBS Case Collection | September 1997 (Revised October 1997)

French Pension System, The: On the Verge of Retirement?

by David A. Moss, Anne Dias and Bertrand O. Stephann

Abstract

Surveys the French pension system, its particular institutional characteristics, and some of the critical challenges and opportunities facing French reformers. Like almost every other industrialized country, France has a large pay-as-you-go public pension system that is beginning to run into serious financial trouble. Ever-increasing longevity, the impending retirement of the baby boomers, and intense public pressure for a lower retirement age are all placing great strain on the existing system. The case emphasizes that in contemplating proposals for reform, the French are being required to weigh two different social objectives that appear to be in conflict--economic growth and economic security. Their choices will end up exerting an enormous impact not only on their welfare state but also on the structure of French labor and capital markets.

Keywords: Retirement; Compensation and Benefits; Capital Markets; Economic Growth; Labor; Problems and Challenges; Opportunities; Welfare or Wellbeing; Investment; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Public Administration Industry; France;

Citation:

Moss, David A., Anne Dias, and Bertrand O. Stephann. "French Pension System, The: On the Verge of Retirement?" Harvard Business School Case 798-032, September 1997. (Revised October 1997.)