Germany’s current and future pensioners face changes in 2019. Coalition promises improvements for millions of people.
And even someone like frank bsirske, head of verdi, who has repeatedly criticized the government’s social policy as inadequate, is generally full of praise this time: "the change of course we have taken in pension policy is to be buried."But there are still many unanswered questions. Questions and answers about what’s coming up:
What’s in store for people’s pensions in 2019??
The coalition’s new pension package has several key elements. The most striking change is the so-called double halay line: both the pension level and the contribution rate are to be kept at a certain level. The level describes the ratio of pensions to wages. It is not to fall below 48 percent by 2025. The contribution rate – currently 18.6 percent – should not rise above 20 percent of income by then.
Which change is most expensive?
The expansion of the mother’s pension. It costs 3.8 billion euros per year. Child-rearing periods for children born before 1992 are taken into account to a greater extent. The pensions in question are thus increased per child by a gross 16.02 euros per month in the west and 15.35 euros in the east. The extended mother’s pension could already be included in new pensions starting in january. The existing pensions will probably not be increased until march, and the supplement will then be paid in arrears.
Which groups will be better off?
People who can no longer work due to illness, for example. The pensioners with reduced earning capacity will receive significantly more if they start receiving this pension in 2019. The pension will then be calculated as if the person concerned had worked up to the standard retirement age. In addition, for low-income earners, the income threshold above which full social security contributions must be paid will rise from 850 to 1300 euros.
What about the pension amount?
Pensioners in western germany will get 3 to 3.5 percent more in july. In eastern germany, pensions are to rise by an even higher 0.7 points. The exact amount can only be calculated in a few months. The main reason for the positive development is the high income of the pension fund due to the good situation on the labor market.
Are there further reform plans?
Yes. In the coming year, labor minister hubertus heil (SPD) plans to introduce a basic pension for those with many years of insurance. Union head bsirske criticizes current plans as inadequate. Self-employed persons are also to be better protected. Here, bsirske demanded: "it is necessary to include the employers in the financing of the pension contributions, as is the case, for example, with the social security fund for artists."
What is planned for the long term?
During this election period, heil intends to provide at least basic long-term security for pensions. A pension commission of experts, which the government has appointed, is to make proposals. More incentives for longer working hours are also being discussed in the committee, according to reports. The SPD has so far categorically refused to raise the retirement age beyond 67.