The National Assembly votes an increase in the amount of pensions for self-employed farmers

A farmer sows barley in Tilloy-lez-Cambrai, in October 2019.

The National Assembly voted on Thursday 1er December, unanimously a bill of the Republicans (LR) allowing to raise, from 2026, the pensions of self-employed farmers, by modifying the method of calculation of their pension. The text provides for“extend to non-salaried agricultural workers”in particular the heads of operations and the “collaborating spouses”, “the calculation of the basic pension on the only twenty-five best years”and no longer over their entire career.

Retired farm managers receive on average 1,079 euros gross for a full career (excluding reversion), according to data from the Mutualité sociale agricole (MSA). “580 euros gross is the pension gap observed each month between a retired farmer and a retired employee”underlined the rapporteur of the text, the deputy LR of Aisne, Julien Dive, at the opening of the debates.

It’s a “terrible admission of failure of our old-age insurance system” for a profession “hard working conditions”with “two thirds of farmers who do not go on vacation for more than three consecutive days per year”he added.

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A bill welcomed by all parties

To have the text adopted, rejected by very little in committee, Mr. Dive had introduced an amendment moving back to January 2026, and no longer 2024, the gradual entry into force of this measure. It is “give the Agricultural Social Mutual Fund time” to adapt to the new method of calculation. The Minister of Labour, Olivier Dussopt, said he was in favor of the bill thus amended, seeing in it “a republican compromise”.

La République en Marche (LRM), which advocates consultation and an outstretched hand, could hardly reject all the texts of a potential ally. On this consensual subject, two laws called Chassaigne 1 and 2 had already been passed unanimously: in 2020, a first text had raised the pensions of former farm managers to a minimum level of 85% of the net minimum wage, and in 2021, a second had increased the small pensions of collaborating spouses of farmers.

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In the hemicycle, the leader of the communist group, André Chassaigne, supported Julien Dive’s text: “We will raise our hands or even our fists to vote for it”, he launched. From La France insoumise (LFI) to the National Rally (RN), all the elected officials welcomed the measure and the “co-construction” for a profession “essential”even if some have deplored the postponement from 2024 to 2026. Adopted at first reading, the text will be transmitted to the Senate, with a majority on the right.

The day devoted to the texts of the Republicans

The subject is crucial for the attractiveness of the profession, insisted Mr. Dive, while one in two farmers will reach retirement age in 2030. According to the vice-president of the FNSEA in charge of the pension file, Luc Smessaert, farmers were considered pensioners “second class”because historically “those who retired had a garden, even the right to subsistence plots”, in addition to rents for their land or the fruit of the sale of their farm. Otherwise, “on the reconstitution of careers, the MSA realizes that we are more and more to be polypensioners, with sometimes contributions in three funds”he also explained to Agence France-Presse (AFP) before the session.

Forty-eight hours before the first round of the election for the presidency of LR, this day devoted to LR texts also takes an internal political turn: Eric Ciotti – who is a candidate – and Mansour Kamardine will defend two proposals for reforming the procedures of deportation of foreigners. Also a candidate, Aurélien Pradié will bring his proposal for a court specializing in domestic violence, inspired by Spain.

None of these texts was adopted by the law commission. But the meeting will be an opportunity for the two deputies-candidates to establish their credibility on subjects that are markers of their conception of the right. The left opposition had not failed, in committee, to mock this telescoping of calendars. “Congress is well worth the demagoguery”had thus quipped Andy Kerbrat (LFI).

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The World with AFP

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