The federal government actually had quite a few plans for old-age provision up until the fall.

Retirement income should become more transparent, and new funding for pension contracts should be introduced.

And company pensions should have gained momentum anyway through a reform of the previous black-red government.

But in the end it turned out differently.

Only the simplest project, a standardized digital pension overview, was decided.

Philipp Krohn

Editor in business, responsible for “People and Business”.

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    However, critics ask why the pension information, which should come from 2023, does not also include real estate and private savings and investment contracts.

    Although the coalition agreement had promised a Riester reform, it never came, and the law to strengthen company pensions that came into force in 2018 is hardly effective.

    A country's old-age provision is a complex structure.

    All three pillars - legal, operational, private - must be coordinated with one another.

    Pay-as-you-go financing and capital coverage are intended to compensate for the weaknesses of the other system.

    "My position is always: first get the legal rules in line," says Axel Börsch-Supan, one of the most influential experts on the subject.

    The economist at the Munich Center for the Economics of Aging has just seen how sensitive the subject of pensions is.

    For the Ministry of Economics led by Peter Altmaier (CDU), he and a commission had drawn up a future draft.

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    Because she argued that the retirement age must be linked to increasing life expectancy, she was rhetorically slapped: by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) as well as by CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt. Retirement provision is a mined area. Funding is frowned upon in the left spectrum of the population. Financial sales have filled their pockets with it, it is said from there. Again and again the wish is heard that everyone who draws benefits should pay into the statutory pension, and then the means would be enough through the productivity increases in the economy.

    But experts such as Börsch-Supan pointed out the urgency of adding to the levy, which is in difficulties due to the excess weight of the baby boomer generation, as early as the times of the black and yellow government under Helmut Kohl.

    As the longest-serving minister in the Kohl cabinet, Norbert Blüm fended off this.

    "Riester came 15 years too late and didn't succeed," says Börsch-Supan today.

    The system is in need of reform.

    At the beginning of next year, the maximum actuarial interest rate in life insurance will fall from 0.9 to 0.25 percent.

    That means the end for almost all insurers, only Allianz and Aachen-Münchener and the fund provider Union Investment, which Riester counts as part of their core portfolio, should remain - possibly a handful of other providers.

    What to consider when discussing old-age pensions

    The subsidized old-age provision in the third pillar is in need of reform. In the second pillar, despite the technically good Nahles pension, she is not (yet) making any headway. Meanwhile, Swedish citizens are enjoying growing returns from share-based investments in statutory pensions and Dutch workers are enjoying sizeable assets from company pensions. Where is the need for reform in Germany? What ideas are there? How can costs be reduced while maintaining a consistently high investment quality? What are the parties planning to do? We will investigate these questions in a series over the next few weeks.