Pension: trouble for retirees – zero increase through the back door

For the approximately 20 million pensioners, the start of the traffic light coalition is heralded with a nasty surprise: the strong pension increase of over five percent next year, announced in full, will not materialize. The traffic lights want the increase to take effect on 1. Cut July significantly without warning.

Exactly how much Catching up again The question of how the increase in the pension rate will affect the pension calculation in the wallet is still being determined – but the 30 leading pension experts in the republic are already aming that the increase will be halved. In plain English, a pension increase of about 2.5 percent then would not even compensate for expected inflation next year. The traffic lights would give pensioners a Net zero increase after the legal old age pensions have not risen already this year or – in the east – hardly at all.

It's possible that the new government will spread the cut over several years through arithmetic operations. It would still be a bitter pill to swallow, since most pensioners would lose hundreds of euros a year. Almost even more annoying is the chutzpah with which the coalition partners are proceeding. There was never any talk of such cuts during the election campaign; the SPD in particular did its best to woo retirees.

No breach of promise but bad style

The promise of secure pensions has not been broken, but seniors may still feel deceived. Still on Wednesday the cabinet decided a pension report, in which for 2022 the thick five per cent plus was announced government-officially. Olaf Scholz and the other SPD ministers agreed – knowing that in the coalition agreement presented a few hours later, this promise would be immediately cancelled. That is, with respect, bad style.

Sure, in principle there are reasons for the catch-up factor. He is the counterweight to the Pension guarantee, which prevents retirement benefits from being cut as wages fall – the catch-up factor is intended to dampen pension increases in later years to compensate for it.

But three years ago, the SPD labor minister ensured that precisely this factor would be suspended until 2026: The SPD as the patron saint of pensioners, that was the tenor in the Bundestag election campaign. No sooner is the election over than the SPD-led coalition shifts into reverse gear. More still: It wants to save – without emergency – in largest haste absolutely already 2022 with the pensions.

This can only be achieved if the law is rushed through the Bundestag. Strange, because otherwise the traffic light shows little Will to reform on pensions. But whoever reaches into the pockets of the seniors should at least have the courage to honestly announce and explain the red pen attack to them. Instead: only a few meager lines in the coalition agreement. And silence.

Pension: Scholz must quickly explain what is still to come

It may be that the intervention for younger generations and for employers, i.e., for contributors, is rather understood as rearing news, pension experts have campaigned for it. But they, too, must take the manner of this surprise intervention as an alarm signal. It will hardly be the last cut.

In the small print of the Coalition agreement conceal plans for a concert of cuts in subsidies and government spending that could affect millions of people. What lies ahead after the pension maneuver? If the coalition does not want to start with heavy distrust mortgage, the future Chancellor Scholz should quickly and honestly explain what really comes to the citizens: not only pensioners have a right to this.