Sunday, November 10, 2019
After months of negotiations, the grand coalition has settled its dispute over the basic pension. The leaders of the CDU, CSU and SPD agreed after more than five hours of negotiations on a compromise, as the German press agency learned from negotiating circles. Details were not known yet. The three party leaders Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU), Markus SOder (CSU) and Malu Dreyer (SPD) wanted to explain the agreement at 16:45 clock in the Chancellery.
People who receive only a small pension in spite of a long contribution period should be granted a premium. The government had already agreed in the coalition agreement. However, it has long been controversial whether the benefits should be linked to a means test, how many people should receive the pension supplement and how expensive it should be.
An agreement was also considered complicated because the coalition leaders would have to compromise in their parties. Both in the Union and in the SPD there are considerable internal reservations about possible variants of a basic pension. Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz must represent a compromise at the SPD party conference in early December, if he should be elected there after the upcoming runoff election for the new party leader. Kramp-Karrenbauer would also have to tackle considerable reservations about the basic rent in the economic wing of her party.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of the CDU had first met in the Chancellery with the party and faction leaders of CDU and CSU. Later, the acting chairman Malu Dreyer, parliamentary leader Rolf Mutzenich, vice-chancellor Olaf Scholz and labor minister Hubertus Heil joined the SPD.
The Union had insisted on the widest possible means test for recipients of the basic pension. The SPD was against it and wanted the serve as many retirees benefit. Merkel had introduced the word "needs test" in a meeting of the Union faction on Tuesday. What was meant was that before the payment of the basic pension it was not the assets that had to be checked, but with the help of data from the tax offices, the income of the pensioners.