Heading for ‘à la carte’ pensions?

Published on 18 April 2013 at 14:44


Germany could see the emergence of “flexi-pension generation,” headlines Die Tageszeitung in the wake of a government decision to increase pensions in 2014 (by 1 per cent in west German states, and 3 per cent in the east). In an extensive analysis of what future generations can expect from the pension system, the daily remarks

The era where everyone retired at more or less the same age is over, not because people have suddenly become more liberated or individualistic, but because the labour market, which has become extremely flexible, will need some people and not others. Some will be able to continue working and may even be obliged, others will not.”
This system will generate inequality, argues TAZ, which sees two solutions —

One way would be to open the floodgates of the invalidity pension system, which is a common measure in Europe, but one which requires generous medical certificates. Alternatively, there is another more interesting option, in which each occupation has a specific retirement age. Roofers and scaffolders [...] could therefore benefit from full retirement at age 58, while those who choose to develop their talents in journalism and academia could work until age 72 if they wish.

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A system with variable retirement ages would be difficult to implement, acknowledges the newspaper —

but current injustice in the social welfare and pension system is not acceptable either. The reforms of the last 15 years have destroyed the legal protection for pensions. And now is the time for change.

In 2012, the average retirement age in Germany was 63.3 years for women, and 63.8 years for men.

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