For the planned share pension of the traffic light coalition, according to Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), up to 150 billion euros are to flow from the federal budget to a new “Generational Capital Foundation” to be established in the coming years.

This should increase its capital through global share investments - and then from the second half of the 2030s onwards with its earnings to facilitate the financing of the statutory pension.

Dietrich Creutzburg

Business correspondent in Berlin.

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"We are now starting with 10 billion euros," Lindner announced on Friday in a discussion with citizens.

But that should only be a start.

"My idea would be that we inject 10 billion euros every year for the next 15 years," he said.

In any case, political decisions will have to be made every year in the future as to how much additional funds the government wants to put aside as “generational capital” for secure pensions.

The project introduced by the FDP in the coalition agreement is to be legally launched this spring - and is now also receiving encouragement from the SPD, albeit with reluctant undertones.

"In addition to the pension contributions and the subsidies from the federal budget, we are relying on an additional stability factor with the capital stock of 10 billion euros, which will further secure the statutory pension," explained the deputy leader of the SPD parliamentary group, Dagmar Schmidt.

She adds: "There is not much left of the original concept of the liberal 'share pension'."

This suggests that the SPD thinks little of further allocations to the capital stock.

The same applies to the goal of the FDP, not only to later finance supplementary grants to the pension fund, but also to establish individual new pension entitlements of the citizens.

"The linchpin of our pension policy remains the long-term stabilization of the pension level of 48 percent," explained Schmidt.

The purpose of this project is to ensure larger annual pension increases than would have been the case with the previous pension formula.

Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) also confirmed on Friday that the share pension is now to come.

"In order to make long-term provisions, we are creating generation capital in the form of a share reserve for the statutory pension insurance," he said.

In the coming weeks he wants to get the "pension package II" on the way, which, in addition to the stock pension, is to include a change in the pension formula in favor of greater pension increases.

Until the "Foundation for Generations Capital" is ready to start, an existing institution should provide start-up assistance, as Lindner announced: the Kenfo Foundation for financing nuclear waste storage.

Since 2017, it has been managing fund assets of around 24 billion euros on behalf of the federal government, which the nuclear power operators have paid in.

Unlike the Bundesbank, which manages pension reserves for civil servants, this foundation has a more offensive, share-based investment strategy - as it should also apply to share pensions.

Lindner countered the concern that the statutory pension would become a pawn in the stock markets: On the one hand, a long-term, broadly diversified investment cushioned fluctuations.

On the other hand, there is no link between the pension and its success.

Therefore, in bad years, the federal budget would have to help out with higher subsidies to the pension fund if necessary – but without the share reserve, these would have to be even higher in the long term.

The federal government is to finance its contributions to the new capital stock through debt.

However, since the money is not spent but invested, it does not fall under the rules of the debt brake in the Basic Law.

Technically speaking, it's an interest differential deal: the new fund aims to generate returns that are higher than the interest that the federal government has to pay for its borrowing.