Zoom Image

Seniors in Germany

Photo: Martin Wagner / IMAGO

In Germany, people retire at the age of 64.4 on average. According to a spokesman for the German Pension Insurance, the average age rose to this value last year. In 2021, it was 64.1 years. The main reason for the increase was an increase in the age limit for the regulation, which was originally designed as a "pension at 63", he said on Tuesday. The actual limit was 64 years last year. It will be gradually raised to 65, similar to the standard retirement age, which will gradually rise to 67.

The "pension at 63" was introduced by the then black-red federal government and is aimed at "particularly long-term insured persons" who have paid contributions for at least 45 years. Those born before 1953 were able to retire at the age of 63 without any deductions. For younger people, the age limit increases, from those born in 1964 there is a deduction-free pension only from the age of 65. From this birth cohort, the standard age limit of 67 years will also apply.

In the long term, the so-called actual retirement age has risen significantly, according to the pension insurance. In 2000, it was 62.3 years. Union parliamentary group deputy Jens Spahn (CDU) had called for an end to the "pension at 63". Two million skilled workers who had retired earlier were now "bitterly lacking," he told Bild am Sonntag. Other parties and trade unions had rejected the initiative.

Retirement age stagnates

At its core, the dispute revolves around two issues. On the one hand, there are signs of an increasing shortage of skilled workers and workers in Germany, as particularly baby boomers will retire in the coming years. The number of people in employment could then fall significantly.

On the other hand, the statutory pension insurance is under financial pressure, because as the life expectancy of people in Germany increases, so does the average pension period – and thus the expenditure of the pension insurance. An increase in the actual retirement age could alleviate both problems.

In fact, the retirement age has risen considerably, especially since the mid-nineties. Since 2013, however, it has largely stagnated (more information can be found here ).