How does the pension stay safe? The Minister of Labor is countering the demand for a higher entry age with another idea. Heil rejects a “pension at 68”.
BUnemployment Minister Hubertus Heil wants to include the self-employed in order to stabilize the pension funds. “The more you pay in, the better for the stability of the pension fund,” said the SPD politician on Wednesday in the ARD morning magazine. He made a proposal to that effect.
In addition, higher minimum wages, better collective bargaining agreements and the compatibility of work and family resulted in more pension contributions. “The statutory pension with a stable pension level and with a stable retirement age with flexible transitions is the right thing.” He rejects a “pension at 68”. An advisory body to the federal government had proposed raising the retirement age to 68 in an opinion in order to close a funding gap in old-age provision.
Criticism from Scholz and Dobrindt
The CSU and SPD candidate for Chancellor Olaf Scholz are against proposals for a longer working life. Employers, on the other hand, are calling for an open debate. CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt spoke on Tuesday in Berlin of a failed discussion. In doing so, he distanced himself from the plans of the scientific advisory board of Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier to set the retirement age at 68 years. Scholz called it “anti-social what is calculated there”.
“We reject a later retirement age,” said Dobrindt. What is needed is a discussion about a good retirement age. To this end, the pension level must be stabilized and private provision must be stabilized. Altmaier’s advisory board presented its new report on the future of pensions on Monday.
On Tuesday, Altmaier himself wrote on Twitter that he had always been in favor of retirement at 67: “It should stay that way, that has been my opinion for years”. The Scientific Advisory Board of the Ministry of Economic Affairs is independent. His proposals are not binding on either the ministry or the minister.
Warning the employer
There was a threat of “sudden increasing financing problems in the statutory pension insurance from 2025”, predicted the committee. The retirement age cannot be decoupled from the development of life expectancy in the long term. According to the current legal situation, the age limit for the pension without deductions will be gradually increased from 65 to 67 years until 2029.
Federal Minister of Finance Scholz has gone tough with the pension plans of the scientific advisors. It was “unsocial, what is calculated there,” said Scholz during an online event of the SPD economic forum. The Scientific Advisory Board at the Ministry of Economics “calculated incorrectly”. The contributions to the pension insurance are currently much lower than once predicted.
In addition, the number of residents and employed people did not decrease as forecast, but increased, emphasized Scholz. “We have a record number of employees subject to social security contributions in Germany.” Such “horror scenarios are always politics that are not really justified,” he said. They should serve to enforce pension cuts for which there is no reason to be at this time.
The SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich said a new regulation for a possible entry age of 68 “we will not go with”. “Pensioners and the generation that will retire in the next few years must not be further unsettled.”
In contrast, the President of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, Rainer Dulger, campaigned for an open debate. One should not get into a situation in which there are more recipients of benefits than providers of benefits, said the employer president. “The discussion must be conducted and it must be conducted honestly.” The topic cannot be concluded with stubborn rejection.
“People who would like to work longer should also be included in the discussion,” said Dulger. For people with professions that could no longer be carried out at an advanced age, there should also be opportunities for further training and new perspectives. “I expect those involved in politics in the next legislature, too, to ensure that my children will later receive an adequate pension at the end of a fulfilling working life,” said Dulger.