Berlin (dpa) – With the protection of the self-employed and the retirement age, two points for attention for the pension debate in Germany will emerge in the coming months.
According to Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD), the next pension law of the German government will provide the self-employed with a secure pension. “The next step is to include the self-employed in the old-age insurance system,” said Heil of the German news agency in Berlin. The financial situation of the pension insurance is central on Thursday during a digital federal representation meeting of the German federal pension insurance.
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. If you don’t choose it, you’ll have to make other arrangements. In old age, they should have more than just basic security.
Months ago, reports of implementation plans circulated. In February, Business Insider said that anyone who would become self-employed after the envisaged law came into effect and who would be under the age of 45 must either make a deposit into the state pension fund or prove that they have adequate private provisions. Entrepreneurs should be exempt from contributions in the first year. Since then, the government has hardly heard anything concrete.
The workers’ group of the union faction hurries forward with a push. “The so-called craftsman scheme would be a good model,” chairman Uwe Schummer (CDU) now told 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 insurance should be shaped – and from what age the insurance obligation should apply.
REFORM PROPOSAL OF THE CDU:
Another push from the CDU beyond the electoral term is making waves. It was decided at the beginning of the week by the CDU’s Federal Social Security and Labor Committee. 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 that life expectancy will increase and demand that part of the life gained should be spent on paid 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 therefore want to abolish the current scheme, according to which the regular retirement age has been gradually increased from 65 to 67 years since 2012.
They also argue for the creation of a fund for capital investments within the statutory pension scheme. Self-employed persons, such as employees, civil servants or mini-jobbers, should also be able to take out a standard pension product. This should mainly be based on equity investments. The state must establish criteria for the product.
Left-wing faction, trade unions and the SPD immediately criticized 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 who have worked, raised children or cared for family members, but who have received little more than basic security because of low wages.
As the pension insurance announced on Tuesday, the calculation and payment of the basic pension costs 400 million euros in administration and procedural costs.