Chancellor strengthens von der leyen in pension dispute

Chancellor strengthens von der leyen in pension dispute

"She is doing justice to her task," merkel said at the german employers’ conference in berlin, referring to the department head. Those who have paid into the pension scheme for decades should not only receive a pension at the level of basic security. "That’s not possible politically, and that’s why we have to change it."

In addition, it should be ensured that private old-age pensions are no longer fully offset against the basic security benefits. "These are the two elements that we are working on in any case and where i absolutely support the federal labor minister."

The CDU/CSU parliamentary group set up a working group to bring together several proposals, some of them conflicting, to combat old-age poverty. The working group, headed by CDU social politician karl schiewerling, is to meet for the first time this wednesday. The intended compromise concept should then also be the basis for talks with the coalition partner FDP, said faction leader michael grosse-bromer (CDU) on tuesday.

In addition to von der leyen’s supplementary pension model, an alternative concept from 14 young members of the union and FDP is on the table. It aims to make private pension provision more attractive for low-income earners by means of a tax-free allowance. At least 100 euros a month should remain untouched. Up to now, every provision is to be fully offset against the basic income of 688 euros on average.

The labor minister already called this "too one-sided. In contrast, the coalition’s controversial supplementary pension plan provides for an increase in the basic pension for long-time contributors to a maximum of 850 euros if they have made private provision for old age.

The CDU/CSU labor wing has now proposed reinstating the abolished "pension based on minimum income" rule. This envisages a percentage increase in the entitlement of low-income earners who have worked for a long time. This rule, which still applies to contribution periods up to 1991, should also be applied to contribution periods since 1992.

The CSU is urging that child-rearing and care periods be taken into account more strongly in pensions. "Family benefits are part of life’s work, which is reflected in pension insurance," said CSU party leader gerda hasselfeldt. According to her, there are no time constraints for the union working group.

Employer president dieter hundt sharply rejects von der leyen’s and the SPD’s pension plans. "Anyone who still believes that the pension system is the main way to avoid old-age poverty is raising expectations that will certainly not be met," said hundt. "There are only two sensible ways to combat old-age poverty: work and personal provision for the future."

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