22 Mar 2019

New Caledonia unions march to keep pension age

7:55 pm on 22 March 2019

Large crowds have turned out in New Caledonia for a march against plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

The march in Noumea was organised by the USTKE and the CSTS-FO unions which say they mobilised about 3,000 people.

The territory's social security organisation CAFAT has been discussing ways to shore up the pension fund's viability as it is being eroded by demographic change.

Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia.

Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Both the government and the employers organisations want to raise the eligibility age.

A full pension is available for those aged 60 while an early retirement is possible at 57 and a half if the individual has contributed to the retirement fund for 35 years.

In French Polynesia, there is a similar debate to raise the retirement age to 62 amid claims that failing to do so will bankrupt the pension fund within two years.

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