Many German citizens look forward to retirement, often years ahead of time. Finally eliminate the stress of daily work. Finally, travel or read when and as often as you like. Finally lead a self-determined life.
But how many years you can actually enjoy retirement depends a lot on the type of profession you had before. This is confirmed by a study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) on behalf of the social association VdK, which was presented on Monday. According to this, civil servants – compared to workers – live on average more than four years longer.
The difference is particularly serious for men: According to statistics, civil servants who reach the age of 65 can expect to live an additional 21.5 years. Employees and self-employed still have a life expectancy of 19 years at the same age. According to statistics, workers, on the other hand, should only expect to live 15.9 years after retirement, 5.6 years less than civil servants and 2.5 years less than employees. There are also such differences among women, although less pronounced: according to the DIW study, female civil servants have a life expectancy that is three years longer than that of female workers.
Heavy physical or mental work – for example in construction, in care or in the fund – shortens life expectancy, and therefore also the duration of the pension, i.e. the costs for the pension fund. pension. In other words: high incomes not only have higher pension rights at the end of their working life, but they also receive money from the pension fund for much longer. This is exactly what the DIW data shows: those in the lowest income group have an average life expectancy of 82.6 years, the highest income group lives 87.5 years – almost five years of life. more.
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Early in the morning on the A9: Can you still work on the site at 70?
(Photo: Robert Haas)
According to VdK President Verena Bentele, these facts must have consequences for pension policy after the federal elections at the end of September. Above all, the VdK rejects one thing: a general increase in the normal retirement age. Even today, only a minority manage to work fully until the age of 65, and certainly not until the age of 67, an age limit which will apply in Germany from 2029. This is why the VdK discussed the DIW study under the title: “Live Longer, Retire Later – Is It Socially Fair?” “
But well-known pension experts and economists recently called in a Federal Economics Ministry study to raise the age limit with generally increasing life expectancy – to 69, according to the rule of thumb of lengthening. life expectancy: two thirds work, one third receive a pension. Bentele categorically rejected this: “An increase to 68, 69 or even 70 would further worsen the division of the elderly population and lead to even more poverty among the elderly.”
Hard workers should retire at 63 and without discount, demands VdK boss
The boss of the VdK appealed to the next federal government: instead of setting up the next pension committee, which “suggests letting everyone work longer at all levels, we need more flexible solutions”. Anyone who has worked in physically or mentally demanding jobs all their life should be able to retire earlier, without any reduction, even at 63. The current system is “not fair”, criticized the president of the VdK. A revaluation of lower pensions is necessary, beyond the basic pension, which has just been introduced, but which was the right approach. However, there is also a clear need for improvement in the area of disability pensions. Anyone who received a disability pension for the first time in 2020 only has an average of 882 euros per month.
The VdK is also in favor of bringing together workers, employees and the self-employed, but also civil servants in a pension fund – as in Austria. Civil servants who take early retirement, Bentele said, currently could not drop below 1,761 euros per month. For many others, it is out of reach. But: The fact that civil servants live longer means that they are financially a burden on the pension fund. In Austria, their rights have therefore been gradually adjusted.