Berlin (dpa) – overshadowed by retirement finance concerns stemming from the corona crisis, the federal government is on track for the next big retirement bill. Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) wants to introduce insurance for the self-employed with compulsory contributions.
This year, pension insurance is heading for a deficit of 4.7 billion euros, mainly due to the corona crisis, the federal pension insurance announced on Thursday. Despite the billions, the more than 20 million retirees can look forward to the coming years. They can hope for pay increases after a zero round.
“The next step is to include the self-employed in the old-age insurance system,” said Heil of the German news agency in Berlin. We are currently working hard on “that we are now taking the next step – in the area of taking on the self-employed,” Heil said in line with earlier statements. “Many self-employed persons are not well protected.”
In their coalition agreement, the Union and the SPD announced the obligation to provide for old age for all self-employed persons who are not covered by occupational pension funds or otherwise. Self-employed persons must therefore enter the statutory pension. Anyone who decides against this should make other arrangements. In old age, they should have more than just basic security. The government has not said anything concrete since then.
The workers’ group of the parliamentary group of the Union is now pushing it forward. “The so-called craftsmen scheme would be a good model,” said Uwe Schummer (CDU) chairman of the dpa. He explained, “Self-employed craftsmen are required to pay 18 years of age in statutory pension insurance.” In this way they must build a basic financial security for old age. After 18 years with compulsory contributions, masons, roofers, carpenters or painters can be exempted under the current rules.
There is still no agreement in the coalition about the exact design of the protection of the self-employed, the dpa learned from coalition circles. It is unclear how the choice between statutory pension and private security should take shape. It is also open to what age the insurance obligation should apply. Months ago, unconfirmed reports said that compulsory insurance should only apply to self-employed persons up to the age of 45.
SHORTAGE AND PENSION RISES:
Due to the corona slump in the spring, premiums to the pension fund plummeted – by 7.2 percent in April. So said the chairman of the board of the pension insurance, Anja Piel, on a digital federal representation. Then it went uphill again. But Piel showed that he had to explain why there were no liquidity bottlenecks on the payout days – namely, because of the relatively high reserves and good management. In any case, this year there is a gap of 4.7 billion euros between income (328.2 billion) and expenditure (332.9 billion) of pension insurance.
In 2021, retirees will face a zero round in the West and a marginal 0.72 percent increase in the East due to the financial corona slump. However, the employee representative on the pension insurance board, Alexander Gunkel, recently pointed to a trend break: “Based on the current status, we expect to see significant increases in pensions in 2022.” According to the pension insurance report, there could then be 4.8 percent more in the old states, by 2023 3.15 percent. In East Germany as much as 5.56 and then 3.88 percent.
REFORM PROPOSAL OF THE CDU:
But in the long run, everyone agrees, finances will not fare so well in an aging society because of the increasing number of pension recipients and fewer payers. A push from the CDU, from the federal committee for social security and the world of work, is causing a furore. The plans should be the basis for a major pension reform in the coming term, said Rheinische Post committee chairman Kai Whittaker (Thursday).
The CDU experts assume an increasing life expectancy. They demand that part of the time gained be spent on work. Instead of a “fixed legal retirement age for everyone”, there should be an individual transition to retirement in the future. In the longer term, the CDU experts want to abolish the current scheme according to which the regular retirement age has increased from 65 to 67 years since 2012. They also advocate the creation of a fund for an investment in retirement capital.
Left faction, trade unions and SPD criticize the newspaper. DGB boss Reiner Hoffmann told the editorial network Germany (RND / Thursday) that it was an “employer light paper and a gift to the insurance industry”.
Heil also wants to set the course after 2025, he confirmed. The aim is to ensure solid pension financing in the face of an aging population. Heil has so far drawn a positive balance from the coalition’s pension policy.
Heil recalled the long struggle for the basic pension, which will apply from January 1 and will be paid retroactively from mid-2021. “1.3 million people will benefit,” he confirmed. These are mainly women with low wages. The calculation and payment of the basic pension costs 400 million euros in administration and procedural costs according to the pension insurance.