Updated February 19, 2020, 8:03 a.m.
After a long dispute, the Union and the SPD want to get the basic pension on the way. Above all, it is a prestige project of the Social Democrats. But criticism from employers and unions does not leave.
Employers and unions have criticized the federal government’s proposed basic pension decision. In view of the largest low-wage sector in Western Europe, an appreciation of low pensions is long overdue, said DGB board member Annelie Buntenbach of the German press agency in Berlin. Because low wages are the main cause of poverty in old age.
However, the procedure for calculating the basic pension is extremely complicated. Much fewer people would benefit than the original design intended. Buntenbach was responsible for the position of the CDU and CSU in the months-long negotiations on the basic pension.
After months of controversy, the federal cabinet plans to decide on the basic pension on Wednesday. Around 1.3 million recipients of small pensions are to receive a premium from 2021. The initial 1.3 billion euros, which are to cost the basic pension, are to be financed with tax funds. The basic pension is a prestige project of the SPD. The two previous governments had failed with similar plans.
Employer President: “No contribution against poverty in old age”
Employer President Ingo Kramer said that the basic pension decision causes serious injustices and does not make a targeted contribution against poverty in old age.
“What the grand coalition now decides blurs the line between contribution-financed pensions and needs-based basic security.” The principle that whoever pays more also receives more benefit, then no longer applies.
The trade association The Young Entrepreneurs was also heavily criticized. “Our pension system is a ticking time bomb, and the basic pension shortens the time until the big bang,” said federal chairwoman Sarna Röser of dpa.
“It is irresponsible for more and more burdens to be put on the shoulders of contributors and taxpayers, and above all on the shoulders of the younger generation.” Rather, measures are needed that specifically help against poverty in old age.
The Union called for a new proposal to fund the basic pension. “I strongly suspect that there will be no financial market transaction tax as of January 1, 2021. Therefore, the finance minister has to submit a replacement proposal,” said Peter Weiß (CDU), social policy spokesman for the Union faction, the editorial network Germany (Wednesday). This tax was intended as a financing instrument for the basic pension.
Hubertus Heil: Basic pension is respect for hard-working low earners
“The basic pension will help people who work hard but earn little,” said Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil of the “Rheinische Post” (Wednesday). It is “an expression of our respect for the life performance of these people”.
“The cabinet decision is a joint commitment by the entire coalition that we are now going to put this into practice.” SPD leader Saskia Esken said: “The basic pension strengthens social cohesion and confidence in the social security systems.”
SPD parliamentary group leader Katja Mast insisted that the plans be implemented quickly. “All attempts to prevent this socio-political milestone have so far failed,” she told the dpa. “The parliamentary discussions will start immediately.” The goal remains that the basic pension comes into force on January 1, 2021. “No further political glitches will keep us from going,” said Mast.
The left-wing pension expert Matthias W. Birkwald, on the other hand, criticized: “The most important social-political project of the grand coalition has become a bureaucratic and blunt sword in the fight against poverty pensions that does not even deserve its name.”
The social association VdK welcomed the plans. VdK President Verena Bentele, however, demanded that a basic pension entitlement be acquired after 30 and not only from 33 years of age. Otherwise, many retirement pensioners went away empty-handed. (Dpa / dh)
The word of the year is “Respiratory pension”. It was coined by Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil and describes a basic pension for people who have worked for 35 years.