Grundrente: Voices from Berlin – "We've broken through a thick knot"


This time no night session in Berlin: Already on Sunday afternoon, the chairmen of the Union and SPD appeared in front of the cameras to announce the breakthrough in the dispute over the basic pension – and to explain why they consider the agreement to be successful.

Everyone who has a need to get access to the new system, said CDU chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. This need is ensured by a comprehensive income test. "It's a good, a justifiable result," she said. "We broke through a thick knot."

Acting SPD leader Malu Dreyer said that the work and life achievements of women in particular were taken into account by the compromise.

The SPD wanted to ensure that at least 1.5 million retirees benefit from the new agreement. The Union wanted the costs to be less than € 2 billion. The pension premiums from the federal budget are to be financed. One part will come from the planned financial transaction tax according to the earlier status of the negotiations, a smaller part will be provided by the Ministry of Labor.

Automated data reconciliation is designed to curb bureaucracy

Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) was satisfied with the coalition's compromise on the planned ground rent. "It is a good agreement," said Scholz on Sunday the German Press Agency in Berlin. The long work was worth it, he said in view of the months-long negotiations in advance. "Germany gets a basic pension, socially and fairly."

Also the CSU chairman Markus SOder was satisfied. He praised the agreement of the CDU / CSU and SPD on the ground rent as "a very good day" for the Grand Coalition. The Bavarian Prime Minister was visibly relieved on Sunday in Berlin. "So, in my view, the Haloko's mid-term review is rounded up, and perfectly rounded, so from my point of view, there's no reason to discuss the continuity." SOder also emphasized that the Union and SPD had not withdrawn into ideological niches, "but in the end achieved a reasonable solution for all of Germany".

The leaders of the CDU, CSU and SPD also emphasized that they wanted to make the basic pension as unbureaucratic as possible. Their decision on the coalition compromise, published on Sunday in Berlin, states that the necessary income adjustment should be organized in an automated and citizen-friendly manner through data exchange between the pension insurance and the tax authorities.

No increase in pension contributions for employees

In addition to the basic pension, the Coalition also wants to introduce a free allowance for housing subsidies with a volume of around 80 million euros. This is to prevent that the improvement in the pension is eaten by a reduction of the housing allowance.

The planned allowances in the basic security and housing subsidies will finance the grand coalition on taxes. For this purpose, the federal subsidy to the general pension insurance will be increased, it says in the resolution published on Sunday in Berlin. An increase in the contribution of employees to the pension insurance should not exist. The financial transaction tax agreed in the coalition agreement should be introduced as an important component for financing the measures.

In addition, the coalition wants to promote more strongly the dissemination of additional employer-financed occupational pensions to low earners with a monthly income up to 2200 euros gross. For this purpose, the funding amount for occupational pensions will be doubled from a maximum of € 144 to € 288. In order to increase the attractiveness of employee share ownership in asset accumulation, the Union and the SPD also want to increase the tax-exempt amount in this area from EUR 360 to EUR 720.

The three party leaders were confident in presenting the compromise confident that they can also convey this to their parties. In the workers' wing of the Union, after all, the agreement meets with approval. "A success is that the income test all types of income are recorded," said the labor and social policy spokesman for the Union's parliamentary group, Peter White, the mirror. The question of how and whether an assessment of the neediness of seniors should be made split the coalition for months. The compromise paper now explicitly mentions that the income to be audited also includes "capital gains".

The chairman of the workers' association CDA, Karl-Josef Laumann, evaluated the solution as a success: "I am very pleased with the agreement – and in the interest of diligent people who have worked for low wages for many years," said the CDU politician the MIRROR. "The now found form of means test is appropriate".

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