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Draft bill: Union calls for rapid clarification on financing basic pension


ZEIT ONLINE | News, background and debates

Berlin (dpa) - After the submission of a draft law on the basic pension, the Union has asked the coalition partner to clarify the financing.

"The CDU / CSU parliamentary group is on the basic pension," said its spokesman for labor market and social policy, Peter Weiß (CDU), the German press agency in Berlin. "Until the cabinet decision, however, their funding must also be clarified." This has not yet happened, White criticized.

The previous day, the Federal Ministry of Labor had given a draft law on basic pensions for coordination within the federal government. The basic pension is to be financed entirely from tax funds. The Ministry of Labor expects costs of around 1.4 billion euros in the first year. The basic pension is to start in 2021.

It was said to be financed, among other things, from the planned European tax on share purchases. However, there is still no draft for this. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) had presented his plans at European level. Other countries still have to move along.

White criticized that the draft law on basic pension leaves open where the tax funds should come from. "The current plans for a financial transaction tax are not mature and their introduction in the European context is not yet foreseeable," he said. It must be guaranteed that such a tax spares pension assets and small investors.

"In addition, as the CDU / CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, we also have questions about the proposed amount of eligible income," said Weiß. Only those whose monthly income as a pensioner does not exceed € 1250 for single people and € 1950 for couples should receive the full pension premium. The Union faction would pay close attention to ensuring that only the people who really need it receive the basic pension.

According to information from the news magazine "Focus", there are also constitutional concerns in the Union against the draft. For example, the income of spouses should also be taken into account in the income check. In contrast, this test does not take place for unmarried couples in one household. This could make it more difficult for married couples to receive a basic pension and would unduly be worse off. "The bill does not meet the agreed conditions," Union Group Vice Carsten Linnemann told the magazine. "With this proposal, in addition to pensioners with high assets, pensioners with a high income would now also receive a basic pension supplement."

According to "Bild" information, Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) blocked with his veto a shortened referral to the cabinet, so that decision-making in the cabinet cannot take place in two weeks, but in four weeks at the earliest.

The FDP pension expert Johannes Vogel criticized the plan as insufficient, that you should receive a basic pension from 31 years of contributions and then the full premium from 35 years. Originally, the 35-year limit had been planned, but the coalition wanted to avoid a hard edge.

"Turning a precipice into a steep slope does not change the fact that people fall down," criticized Vogel. "Everyone with less than 33 years of contributions is completely empty with the basic pension - but this applies to the vast majority who have worked and paid up and are still at risk of old-age poverty." The basic pension of the Union and the SPD is not a targeted model against old-age poverty, Vogel said to the dpa.

The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) urged simple implementation. "It is now important that the regulations for the basic pension are transparent, comprehensible and easy to implement given the large number of beneficiaries," said Annelie Buntenbach, member of the DGB federal executive board, dpa. A number of agreements from the coalition parties' compromise on the basic pension would stand in the way of this and made the draft extremely difficult. An original draft by Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) was much better there. But the present draft will also improve the situation of over a million pensioners with low pensions.

Source: zeit

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