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French workers need to work until age 64 to get full pension

Protesters march during a demonstration Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 in Paris. French airport employees, teachers and other workers joined nationwide strikes Tuesday as unions cranked up pressure on the government to scrap upcoming changes to the country's national retirement system. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS — French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the minimum retirement age will remain 62, but workers will have to work until 64 to get a full pension.

In a sweeping speech Wednesday, he said the implementation of the pension changes will be delayed. The new pension system will only apply to people born after 1975.

The measures will start being implemented for new workers entering the labour market in 2022, which is the final year of President Emmanuel Macron’s current term.

The government says a minimum pension of 1,000 euros (about $1,100) per month will be put in place for those who have worked all their life.

The government’s announcements come on the seventh straight day of a crippling transport strike and after hundreds of thousands of angry protesters have marched through French cities.

The government is hoping that the plan might calm tensions as hundreds of thousands of angry protesters have marched through French cities.

On Wednesday in the Paris region, authorities measured around 460 kilometres (285 miles) of traffic jams, and all but two of the city’s metro lines closed. Commuters also used means other than cars to get to work, such as shared bikes and scooters.

Many French commuters still express support for the strikes despite the chaos, owing to fears their pensions will shrink under Macron’s plan.

Unions fear that a new system, which replaces a national pension system with special privileges for some in the transport sector, will force people to work longer for smaller pension allocations. The government says it won’t raise the age of retirement up from 62.

The Associated Press