When a couple becomes a family, the joy is great. The pressure to make important decisions grows with the stomach: Who stays at home? How long? Will both partners go back to work full time after parental leave? As if such questions weren’t difficult enough, the answer is often unsatisfactory for women. Usually they are the ones who stay at home with the children, pause their careers and later do not return to work at all or only return to work part-time.
It doesn’t have to and shouldn’t be like that, says Heide Härtel-Herrmann. She has been working as a financial advisor in Cologne since 1986, specializes in advising women and regularly has couples with questions about the fair distribution of care work. Purely organizational decisions usually have expensive consequences for the low-wage earner in a partnership. In addition to the career kink, the partner who takes most of the parental leave also has to forego part of his pension. “In the statutory pension insurance scheme, there are so-called pension points to compensate for parental leave, but they cannot compensate for the high losses over the course of a career,” says Härtel-Herrmann.
The pension calculation is complicated: If you take care of the children at home, you no longer pay into the pension fund. Often the affected parent also pauses private and company pension contracts – after all, these are difficult to get with the parental allowance