Admittedly, as in all Member States, the normal retirement age has gradually increased, but leaving earlier is now much easier:
– as Laurence has more than 35 years of career, the ‘penalty’ for early departure is calculated on all her rights and the result is capped at 70%; before 2004, the penalty was higher and was applied to a pension already capped at 70%;
– she will continue to receive family allowances for her two children who are still dependent, who will also remain covered by our health insurance scheme (JSIS), contrary to what was done before; that was what had deterred her father from taking early retirement.
Finally, for Laurence, this reform, which got such a bad press from the other unions, also had a lot of good sides. And the progress on pension was preserved in 2014, unlike careers. ‘Perhaps if Union Syndicale had succeeded in mobilising staff in the other institutions as it was able to do at the Council, and especially if the other trade unions had followed, there would not have been all these career blockages’.
Laurence is jolted out of her daydreams by the arrival of Cristian, a Romanian colleague. He is upset because he still does not know when he will be able to retire or how it will be calculated. Since 2006, he has worked as a contract agent and then as a temporary agent before becoming an official and the PMO considers that he entered service after 2014. He has brought an appeal but he is still awaiting judgment. It is a good thing he was a member of Union Syndicale, which is funding a very significant proportion of his appeal, because his AST 3 salary does not allow him to pay the lawyer’s fees, let alone if he is obliged to go on appeal.