In view of the growing pressure on the statutory pension, the german insurance industry is advocating a further increase in the retirement age.
An increase to 68 or 69 from 2030 or 2040 should not be taboo in view of rising life expectancy, said peter schwark, member of the executive board of the german insurance association (gdv). A federal government pension commission starts this wednesday. The advisory body is to make proposals by 2020 for the long-term safeguarding of pensions – for the period after 2025.
The security level of the statutory pension could be maintained at a higher level in the future and contributions would not have to increase too much if people worked until 69, for example, said oliver ehrentraut of the prognos institute, which had studied the development on behalf of GDV.
GDV and prognos presented an internet service ("rentenminister") that enables everyone to check the probable development of the statutory pension under certain conditions. The key factors here are the contribution rate, the pension level, the working life and the tax allowance. Ehrentraut said: "working longer brings relief and helps the system."The then finance minister wolfgang schauble (CDU), among others, had already been criticized for his call to link the retirement age to rising life expectancy.
A large proportion of germans expect to have to get by with little money in retirement age. According to a survey commissioned by the german federation of trade unions (DGB), four out of five employees assume that they will not be able to get by at all in old age, or only just, as the neue osnabrucker zeitung (tuesday) reports. According to the survey, the concerns are particularly pronounced among middle-aged women, low-income earners, people in part-time employment and people with uncertain employment prospects.
DGB board member annelie buntenbach told the paper that the survey revealed a gross mab of insecurity. She called for politicians to urgently ensure greater security and a good level of benefits, also in the long term. Verena bentele, president of the german social association (vdk), sees the survey results as an alarming sign. The statutory pension must be strengthened. The taxpayers’ association (bdst) called for "a sustainable balance of interests between pensioners and contributors".
Labor minister hubertus heil (SPD) wants to implement the proposals of the government’s pension commission in law before the end of this legislative period. In the coming years, the baby boomer generation will gradually retire, and at the same time people will grow older and older. So there could be significantly fewer contributors, but more pensioners and longer retirement periods.
Left-wing pension expert matthias W. Birkwald called for a reversal in pension policy. The riester pension has failed. The pension commission should make proposals for an expansion of the statutory pension system.