TRIBUNE. How to bring 21st century France into the long term? The Pacte law has profoundly reformed retirement savings systems through the reform of the PER. The challenge now is to have a successful launch, to strengthen the competitiveness of our economy by improving, for the French, the performance and orientation of our long-term savings.
A signed platform Grégoire Sentilhes, Chairman of NextStage and Citizen Entrepreneurs; Thibaut Bechetoille, Chairman of CroissancePlus; Frédéric Coirier, Co-President of METI - Movement of Intermediate Size Enterprises; Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux, President of MEDEF and Dominique gaillard, Chairman of France Invest.
“The most powerful force in the universe is that of compound interest, which is the eighth wonder of the world. Whoever understands them, wins them… And whoever does not understand them, pays them. " Albert Einstein
In a context where the structural transformations initiated (labor law, training, etc.) are beginning to bear fruit, the PACTE law and the PER are a unique opportunity to rehabilitate “France for the long term”. Retirement savings constitute a tremendous economic opportunity, in the short and medium term, as a source of investment in our economy, at a time when it must invest massively in its digital, environmental and smart health transformation, but also to create value. for savers, to create jobs, and also to rebuild the confidence of the French in the future.
The PACTE law of 2019 gave rise to a real co-construction between public and private actors, asset managers, insurers and banks. Its positive reception by the market attests to the interest it arouses. It is a key first step for more agile savings, making it possible to build a funded pension, in addition to the pay-as-you-go pension, which is one of the key reforms of the five-year term. Develop the culture of long-term investment, after 40 years of advisory duty "Risk management oriented", is an educational task of unprecedented magnitude. The stake is between 50 and 100 billion euros which could within five years be oriented towards investment in the real economy (listed and unlisted), with a major impact on the competitiveness of our production apparatus. This is how we will be able to make our companies champions, whereas they have too often been forced in the past to sell themselves or to continue their development on the stock market in the United States.
The France of the long term is that of General de Gaulle to Georges Pompidou, who knew how to invest in industrial bets for the future, and generate GDP growth rates of 5% per year and full employment, until 1974 The progressive paralysis of the process of creative destruction in France and the “strange economic defeat” since 1975 of the triptych (entrepreneur, innovation, long-term investment) imperceptibly annihilated our capacity to innovate and that of bringing out world champions capable of replace the previous ones, leading to an erosion of our economic sovereignty and a gradual attrition of the performance of French savings, mainly invested in bonds.
Bringing out the French champions of the 21st century
Long-term France must now show itself capable of taking intelligent risks to invest in the long term, in equity capital, in the best startups, SMEs and mid-cap companies, in order to bring out the French champions of the 21st century in all regions, and also to invest more in our large companies, whose capital is insufficiently held by French shareholders. Faced with the third industrial revolution underway, it must redesign its competitive capacity, its capacity for job creation as well as its economic and technological sovereignty, both in the digital domain, as in cybersecurity, smart health and greentech. It must also generate financial performance over time, and therefore purchasing power for savers, in particular with a view to their retirement, and show that investing in shares, both listed and unlisted, is the real answer to the question. the negative interest rate situation, which deeply calls into question the economic model of the financial industry.
The France of the long term is the one which makes it possible to rebuild confidence in the future, by supporting the transformation of our societies and by growing the innovative industrial champions who irrigate our territories economically, socially and culturally. It is also the one that provides an answer to the anxiety expressed by the French, both in relation to unemployment, so that it continues to decline, and in relation to the fear of downgrading and economic deserts so expressed during the Great Debate. .
Bonds that pay less and less
The French invest their savings massively in a debt that finances bonds earning them less and less each year (1,6% on average for life insurance contracts in euros in 2018 in France), while foreigners invest in shares in our companies. American households today have 66% of their retirement invested in listed and unlisted equities. France was "trapped" with the adoption of Solvency II, since 2010 when it did not have a pension fund.
The long-time France is the one that says goodbye to the “risk aversion” which has taken the French economy and its savers hostage for too long, and allows the meeting of the entrepreneurial culture which has experienced a real renaissance for too long. 10 years and that of the culture of long-term private investment which we still lack, and which we must initiate in order to continue the “positive” shift, and to prevent the effects of a possible economic recession as well as possible. This is the opportunity offered by the PACTE law and the PER which the French, like entrepreneurs and businesses, must seize on a massive scale.
Tribune available on the La Tribune website: https://www.latribune.fr/opinions/tribunes/favoriser-l-acceleration-de-l-investissement-a-long-terme-vers-l-economie-reelle-grace-a-l-epargne-retraite-832538.html