By 195 votes to 112, senators approved the reforms, moving the package one step closer to becoming law. A final draft will be created by a committee and sent to the Senate and National Assembly for a final vote.
After the vote, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne declared, "An important step was taken this evening with a broad vote on the pension reform text in the Senate," adding that she believed the government had a parliamentary majority necessary to enact the reforms.
Borne, on the other hand, may use article 49/3, a constitutional tool that is rarely used and highly contentious, to pass the legislation without a vote in the event that Macron's government fails to gather the required majority.
Despite the fact that the day's protests against the reform were much smaller than some of the previous ones, unions, which have fiercely opposed the measures, still hoped to force Macron to back down on Saturday.
On Saturday, Marylise Leon, the CFDT union's deputy leader, told Franceinfo that "this is the final stretch." Now is the time to win.
After some protesters threw objects at security officers, causing trash cans to burn and windows to break, tensions rose in the evening, when Paris police announced that they had made 32 arrests.
In a desperate attempt to persuade him to change his mind, Macron turned down two last-minute requests to meet with union leaders this week.
According to the boss of the hard-left CGT union, Philippe Martinez, the snub "very angry" the unions.
“When millions of people are out in the streets, when there are strikes, and we only hear silence from the other side, people wonder: How more do we should be heard?" He remarked, urging a referendum on the pensions reform.
The inside service said 368,000 individuals made an appearance cross country for fights - not exactly 50% of the 800,000 to 1,000,000 that police had anticipated.
Rallies were attended by 48,000 people in Paris, as opposed to the 100,000 that the police anticipated.
Unions had hoped for a higher turnout on a Saturday because most people didn't have to take time off from work to attend. They estimated a million people would attend. According to police, 963,000 people demonstrated on February 11, which was also a Saturday.
According to the police and the unions, there were just under 1.3 million participants on Tuesday's last major strike and protest day.
The main change in the reform is raising the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64, which many people believe is unfair to those who started working young.
Some of the neighborhoods of the capital have begun to accumulate trash that has not been picked up, and about 20% of the flights that were scheduled to land at French airports were canceled.
According to a survey conducted on Saturday and released by broadcaster BFMTV, 63% of French people supported the protests against the reform and 54% supported strikes and blockades in some sectors.
However, 78% of respondents stated that they believed Macron would ultimately achieve the reform's adoption.