Heil wants to include self-employed in pension system

Image by TumisuFederal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil wants to include the self-employed to stabilize the pension funds. "The more who pay in, the better for the stability of the pension fund," the SPD politician said Wednesday on ARD's "Morning Magazine. He made a corresponding proposal.In addition, higher minimum wages, better collective agreements and the compatibility of work and family also provided for more pension contributions. "The statutory pension with a stable pension level and with a stable retirement age with flexible transitions is the right thing to do." He rejected a "pension at 68." In an expert report, a panel of advisors to the German government had proposed raising the retirement age to 68 in order to close a gap in the financing of old-age pensions.The CSU and SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz oppose proposals for longer working lives. Employers, on the other hand, are calling for an open debate. CSU state group leader Alexander Dobrindt spoke on Tuesday in Berlin of a misguided discussion. In doing so, he distanced himself from plans by the scientific advisory council of Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier to set the retirement age at 68. Scholz called it "unsocial what is being put forward."

"We reject a later retirement age," Dobrindt said. What is needed, he said, is a discussion about a good pension in old age. To this end, he said, the pension level must be stabilized and private pension provision must be stabilized. Altmaier's advisory council presented its new report on the future of pensions on Monday.On Tuesday, Altmaier himself wrote on Twitter that he had always been in favor of retirement at 67: "It should stay that way, that has been my opinion for years. The Scientific Advisory Board of the Ministry of Economics is independent. Its proposals are not binding on the ministry or the minister.

There is a threat of "shockingly increasing financing problems in the statutory pension insurance system from 2025," the panel predicted. The retirement age could not be decoupled from the development of life expectancy in the long term. Under current legislation, the retirement age will be raised gradually from 65 to 67 without deductions by 2029.

Federal Finance Minister Scholz has come down hard on the pension plans of the scientific advisors. It is "antisocial what is being put forward," Scholz said during an online event of the SPD Economic Forum. The Scientific Advisory Board at the Ministry of Economics had "miscalculated." Pension contributions are currently much lower than once predicted.In addition, the number of inhabitants and the number of people in employment had not fallen as forecast, but had risen, Scholz emphasized. "We have a record number of employees subject to social security contributions in Germany." Such "horror scenarios are always politics that are not really justified," he said. They should be used to push through pension cuts for which there is no reason at this time, he said.

SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich said a new regulation for a possible retirement age of 68 "is not something we go along with." "Pensioners and the generation that will retire in the next few years must not be further unsettled."In contrast, the president of the Confederation of German Employers' Associations, Rainer Dulger, called for an open debate. We must not get into a situation where there are more benefit recipients than benefit providers, said the employers' president. "The discussion has to be held and it has to be held honestly. With stubborn rejection, the topic cannot be closed, he said.

"People who would like to work longer would also have to be included in the discussion," Dulger said. For people with jobs that could no longer be performed at an older age, there would also have to be opportunities for further training and new perspectives. "In the next legislative period, I expect the political decision-makers to succeed in ensuring that my children will also receive an adequate pension at the end of a fulfilling working life," said Dulger.



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