debate on pensions
Greens prepare against social capital for pension

Criticism of the planned pension capital stock also comes from Green politician Frank Bsirske.  Photo: Fabian Sommer/dpa

Criticism of the planned pension capital stock also comes from Green politician Frank Bsirske. Photo

© Fabian Sommer/dpa

The coalition wants to break new ground with “generational capital”: the capital investments are intended to help secure the statutory pension. Now there is resistance at the traffic light.

The Greens in the Bundestag oppose long-term protection of pensions through a rapidly growing capital stock.

“Our pension system cannot be adapted to the next decades through stock market speculation,” said social expert for the Greens in the Bundestag, Frank Bsirske, of the German Press Agency in Berlin.

With the stock reserve, the stoplight coalition wants to enter into a partial equity hedge for baby boomers’ retirement. This should serve to stabilize the pension level and the contribution rate in the long term.

Bsirske made it clear: “The Greens support the coalition agreement to allocate a share capital of 10,000 million euros to the pension insurance system. We oppose an increase.”

Lindner’s plans for “generational capital”

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) presented the “generational capital” plans in mid-January. “We need a capital stock in the triple-digit billion range in the statutory pension insurance pillar,” Lindner told the “Börsen-Zeitung”. The ten billion is “just the beginning.” Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) backed the creation of “generational capital” and called for a safe and long-term investment of the money.

Verdi’s former boss, Bsirske, said: “To prevent an increase in the pension insurance contribution by 1 percent in the long term with income from investments, a share capital of 350 to 570 billion euros would be needed. , depending on the amount of the return”. The risk remains high. “We know that it is totally unsafe to speculate on the stock market.”

Bsirske warned against diverting pension insurance contributions to share capital. “That would be at the expense of millions of retirees if pension insurance funds were used for this.” Contribution funds cannot be used to purchase shares.

Bsirske fears “a call for a quantum leap”

“In view of the required capital, a call for a quantum leap for equity capital in the near future is to be feared,” Bsirske said. “It’s a matter of time before there’s a demand that we have to be big here instead of making a mess.” This path was taken in Sweden years ago. “But that doesn’t mean that this is the right path for Germany,” she said.

The government wants to pave the way for share pensions as part of a pension package aimed at securing pension levels. The pension level shows the financial security power of pensions in relation to wages. Bsirske demanded: “We have to ensure the level of pensions at least at the current level and strengthen the pay-as-you-go system.”

As of today, the pension contribution rate will remain below 20 percent until the late 1920s, according to Bsirske. The increase in contributions would also be stabilized by federal grants. “I find fantasies of significantly reducing contributions through stock market speculation extremely problematic,” Bsirske said. “We will not continue down this path.” The Green politician also said: “There are other ways to set the long-term course for the statutory pension: the keyword insurance of citizens, the keyword higher contribution assessment ceiling, the keyword minimum pension funded by the employer contribution.” They are discussions “that are coming to us for the next legislative period.” Bsirske demanded that a drop in the level of pensions and a slide of more pensioners towards basic security not be allowed.

According to the latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office, the number of recipients of basic old-age security has increased by a good 68,000 in one year to 647,515 last September. In 2015 there were still 527,353.

dpa

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