One of the objectives of the pension system is to guarantee retirees an adequate standard of living, which is traditionally measured by the ratio of their pension benefits to their last wage. This indicator is relevant for persons whose end-ofcareer salaries are steady. However, when unemployment, inactivity or part-time work periods occur in the final years of their professional trajectory, its interpretation is more delicate. The objective of this study is to build a replacement rate indicator that most closely reflects the situation of retired wage earners. The analysis, based on the results of a 2008 sample of data exchange between different pension schemes (EIR – échantillon interrégimes de retraités), primarily targets retired wage earners born in 1942. Replacement rates fall sharply with the retiree’s former wage for lower remunerations but remain stable in the intermediate remuneration zone. Women achieve slightly lower replacement rates at comparable wage levels. Replacement rates appear to be quite similar in the private and public sectors. These findings are valid for all the generations born in 1942 or before, with relatively minor intergenerational differences.
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