"According to today’s calculations, there is a recognizable margin for a further reduction in the contribution rate. This would be the third consecutive reduction in the contribution rate," said annelie buntenbach, chairwoman of the board of management of the german pension insurance association, in dusseldorf on thursday.
It thus tied in with speculation from the previous day, according to which the pension contribution could fall from the current 18.9 to 18.7 or even 18.6 percent in the coming year. A financial collapse – which would prevent this – is not recognizable according to the words of buntenbach. She represents the unions at the top of the pension insurance scheme.
Although nothing has been decided, the plans for better maternity and reduced-earning-capacity pensions will mean billions in new expenditures for pension funds, and there is once again a dispute about this within the union.
The CDU business wing insists on lowering contributions, in doubt at the expense of the mother’s pension. "We have always said that surpluses in the pension fund must not be used to finance permanent new financial burdens, and that would be the case with the expansion of maternity pensions," the president of the CDU’s economic council, kurt lauk, told the "rheinische post" (thursday).
The head of the CSU parliamentary group, gerda hasselfeldt, refuted this. "It is superfluous and misleading to still question the improvement of the pension for mother or its financing."The mother’s pension is not a new benefit, but brings justice to the pension system.
Buntenbach pointed out that despite the significant reduction in the contribution rate at the beginning of the year from 19.6 to 18.9 percent, the pension fund’s income has so far increased by 0.7 percent. A drop in attendance was expected. The law stipulates that contributions must be reduced if the pension fund’s reserves exceed 1.5 months’ expenditure. Currently it is 1.57 months’ expenditure.
Member of SPD chancellor candidate peer steinbruck’s competence team, klaus wiesehugel, accused black-yellow of "squandering" pension fund jerks. For short-term electoral gifts, the coalition is endangering the long-term stability of the statutory pension insurance. "In the end, contributors and future pensioners foot the bill."The SPD rejects a reduction in pension contributions.
Buntenbach also addressed the upcoming pension adjustment in the east and west: in the east, pensioners will receive 3.29 percent more from july on, in the west 0.25 percent. This "relatively large difference" could "plausibly be explained by the catching-up process in the new federal states and changes in income structures.
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