Comment: The basic pension is disruptive

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MThe basic coalition affords the grand coalition another prank of particular relevance to pension policy. In order to gauge the scale of the reform that raises more than a million small pensions above social assistance, today’s estimated costs are not a good guide. Compared to the double-digit billions of euros spent on increasing pensions for older mothers and the discount-free pension at 63, the annual 1.5 billion euros for the basic pension are small. But while the financial dynamics, especially the mother’s pension, decrease in the medium term because the number of recipients is falling, the Union and the SPD are planting the core of a new benefit in the German social system with the basic pension, which not only has some financial explosive potential.

You start out deliberately small, but at least the SPD has – as with the minimum wage – bigger things in mind. Her employment minister Hubertus Heil initially wanted to favor four to five million pensioners, but quickly relented on this point CDU and CSU and narrowed the requirements for benefits in order not to endanger the project a third time. After all, Heil’s predecessors Andrea Nahles (SPD) and Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) had failed due to this project, which they had advertised as a solidarity pension and life benefit pension. The basic pension now realizes the idea of ​​the two forerunners: low-wage earners who have paid long contributions to the pension fund should no longer be dependent on state welfare in the form of basic security in old age, which is also payable to people who have never worked and taken care of to have.



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