Line aviation collateral victim of pension reform
Pilots retire, on average, at 63, and even 62 years and 6 months at Air…
This is a blind spot in pension reform. Contested by nearly three quarters of French people, according to the polls and the importance protests it has sparked, it would not be unanimous in the air transport companies either. The reform will indeed hit hard the pension system for pilots and cabin crew (PNC), hostesses and stewards.
Today, these categories of employees of French companies contribute to the Supplementary Pension Fund for Professional Aircrew in Civil Aeronautics (CRPNAC), a supplementary fund made up of two separate funds. A fund intended for pensions and another created in the 1950s, when flight attendants were not allowed to fly beyond the age of 45. Pilots retire, on average, at 63, and even 62 years and 6 months at Air France. The hostesses and stewards leave at the age of 56. With this seven-year differential between pilots and cabin crew, the CRPNAC has been structurally in the red for a few years. Fortunately, it is sitting on a war chest of more than five billion euros. A reserve that allows him to provide his services.
But by proposing to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, the reform will upset an already precarious balance. Today, a provision of the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) sets the retirement age for pilots at 60. By way of derogation, they can continue their activity until the age of 65, but not beyond. A limit imposed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In addition, after reaching the age of 60, each sailor must undergo a six-monthly medical check-up. In case of incapacity, he can no longer practice his profession in civil aviation. The company can then reclassify it on the ground, but, failing to achieve this, it most often dismisses its pilot. Finally, another provision prohibits putting two pilots over 60 in the same cockpit.
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With the rise in the retirement age, airlines will be faced with the aging of their crew. At Air France, indicates a pilot and former trade union leader, the 57-62 year olds would already represent “20% of the pilot workforce” of the company, which has around 4,500. They will be all the less inclined to leave the duration of unemployment benefits has just been reduced from thirty-six to twenty-seven months. The company led by Ben Smith tried to rejuvenate its age pyramid during the pandemic, pushing four hundred pilots out.
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