I.n the CDU, after many years of a pension policy that was focused on the expansion of benefits, the desire for a fundamental restructuring of the pension insurance is growing. In a paper for the CDU Federal Committee, Kai Whittaker, Member of the Bundestag, suggests adjusting the retirement age to increasing life expectancy, increasing the contribution assessment ceiling and including civil servants in the system in the medium term. Structural reforms are necessary to make pensions “future-proof”. There is still no agreement on the proposals; the technical committee wants to discuss the draft on November 30th.
The paper states that rising costs of old-age insurance cannot only be absorbed by the contributors. In order to put the income on a broader basis, it is proposed to consider extending the obligation to contribute to the statutory pension insurance from 2030 on to income beyond wages or to direct more tax revenue into the system to stabilize the contributions. In addition, the contribution assessment ceiling is to increase, which is currently 6900 euros (West) and 6450 euros (East). The limit is to rise gradually over ten years so that pension contributions are due on the entire salary. Then, however, the (previously limited) pension entitlements also increase.
Additional earnings limits are to be simplified
In order to take the aging population into account, incentives are to be created to work longer and to reach a higher retirement age. A higher pension supplement is envisaged, “if it can be represented actuarially”. In addition, previous additional earnings limits are to be simplified before reaching the age limit. Regarding a further increase in the retirement age, which will be 67 years in 2031, it vaguely says: “It is necessary to examine the extent to which the life gained can be distributed evenly over the employment phase, the retirement phase.”
Instead of naming a new age limit, it is suggested that the standard retirement age should be converted to a “regular insurance period” from 2030 onwards. The aim is to calculate the individual retirement age and automatically adjust the age limit to life expectancy. In 2030 someone would have to prove 45 years in order to retire without a deduction. The regular insurance period should then be adjusted according to life expectancy. “Basically, the time gained should be divided equally between working hours and retirement,” it says.
In addition, it is proposed to convert the statutory pension insurance from a pay-as-you-go system into a mixed system of pay-as-you-go and capital investment. The draft states that the pension insurance should be commissioned to set up a pension fund for capital investment. For this purpose, 2.5 percent of the gross wage, currently around 32 billion euros per year, should flow into the development of a pension fund instead of into the pay-as-you-go system.
What is new for the CDU is the idea of developing pension insurance into employment insurance. The paper says: “As a first step, from 2030 onwards, we want to integrate people under the age of 30 who are or will be active as civil servants, self-employed or politicians into the statutory pension insurance. Everyone who is older will stay in their previous pension schemes. “