Supplementary pensions from the private sector: the Urssaf counter-offensive

The hour of the response has come for “Urssaf-national fund”. On Thursday 17 November, its leaders held a press conference in order to respond, point by point, to the ” disinformation “ and to “fantasies”. For more than a year and a half, the organization responsible for collecting social security contributions has been embroiled in a controversy linked to the fact that the State has entrusted it with the collection of resources intended for the Agirc-Arrco private supplementary pension scheme. An extension of its role which is carried out under conditions criticized by the unions, the employers and the oppositions, on the right as on the left.

For the past ten years, the Urssaf network has been entrusted with collecting contributions that fall into the purses of multiple institutions: unemployment insurance, vocational training and apprenticeship operators, etc. In technocratic language, we speak of“unification of social recovery”. The goal is to “simplify business life”of “reduce management costs” but also to increase the yield of the puncture. With its battalions of controllers and its procedures honed by decades of collection, Urssaf prides itself on being an effective collector, which optimizes the cash flow: the gain would be, for example, “150 million euros” per year for the compensation system for job seekers piloted by Unédic.

Under Emmanuel Macron’s first five-year term, this movement towards centralization continued. It was thus decided to transfer to Urssaf the collection of Agirc-Arrco contributions, hitherto provided by private social protection groups. That is some 87 billion euros for the pensions of more than 13 million people.

“Persistence of serious difficulties”

The handover was to take place at the start of 2022, after having been enacted in the Social Security financing law for 2020. The text had been adopted at a time when the power in place wanted to build a universal pension system, in which the all of the existing funds would have merged. A prospect that is a source of anxiety among the social partners: being the managers of Agirc-Arrco, they were afraid that the State would dislodge them from their posts and, in passing, would take control of the copious financial reserves of the regime (approximately 60 billion euros).

The universal system project was finally abandoned, but the fears did not disappear. In early 2021, unions and employers asked the executive to postpone the transfer. In support of their request, they argued in particular, in essence, that the intervention of the Urssaf would risk harming the calculation of the rights of the insured – this complex operation having until then been entirely in the hands of the protection groups. social under the banner of Agirc-Arrco. The government finally agreed to postpone by one year, i.e. on 1er January 2023, the transmission of the relay.

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