People took to the streets across France on 5 December in one of its biggest strikes in decades against proposed reforms to the pension system.

President Emmanuel Macron‘s plans to simplify the existing pension system by making it a universal points-based pension system have sparked public outcry.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe unveiled the details of the reform plan on 11 December. The new rules imply introduction of a €1,000 minimum monthly pension for those who have worked a full career; mandatory minimum retirement age of 62; and bonus system to encourage people to work till the age of 64.

Under the new rules, the worker will receive a lower pension if they were self-employed for a while, or had health issues that prevented them from working for some period.

The strikes in the country have slowed public services. Trade unions fear people will be forced to work longer for smaller pensions.

The government said the reforms will only apply in full to people entering the labor market after 2022 and would not impact anyone born before 1975. Unions, however, say the strikes should continue.