MWith full force, the statutory pension insurance will only feel the effects of the corona pandemic in the coming year and in the years after. Unlike unemployment insurance and statutory health insurance, pension funds are still relatively good this year. But pension insurance must also go to its financial reserves more than expected.
According to the latest forecast by the F.A.Z. the income from contributions from employees and employers will be around EUR 4 billion lower in the current year than predicted in the last estimate. Instead of the expected premium income of EUR 255.9 billion, pension insurance will probably have to settle for just under EUR 251.8 billion in view of rising unemployment and short-time work.
21 million pensioners
The gap has to be covered by the financial reserve of the pension insurance, the so-called sustainability reserve, which peaked at EUR 40.5 billion at the end of 2019. It now has to be melted down to 36.5 billion. In its November 2019 pension insurance report, the federal government had originally predicted a record of 41.3 billion euros for the financial cushion in 2020. Since pension payments currently total around 23.5 billion euros, the new estimate of 36.5 billion euros corresponds to 1.55 monthly expenses for the approximately 21 million pensioners in Germany.
The financial reserve will melt off according to plan in the coming years because the black-red coalition has decided to include “holding lines” for the pension contribution rate and the level of pensions. According to the 2019 pension insurance report, the sustainability reserve will be only a good 25 billion euros in 2023, then less than a monthly expenditure.
Federal grant covers difference
Because of the effects of the corona pandemic, the shrinking process could now be significantly faster. Then the federal government would have to increase its tax subsidy, which will soon reach a triple-digit billion figure anyway, more than planned.
In total, pension insurance, including pensioners’ health insurance, is expecting pension expenditure of EUR 310.4 billion this year. Last year it was 297.8 billion euros. With the increase, the increasing number of pensioners and the upcoming pension adjustment are noticeable. The federal tax subsidy covers the difference between expenditure and income.