Debate about retirement at 70: economy open to a higher retirement age

"Anti-social bullshit" - that's how sharp the criticism is that the head of the employers' association Gesamtmetall reaps for his push for a pension at 70.

Debate about retirement at 70: economy open to a higher retirement age

"Anti-social bullshit" - that's how sharp the criticism is that the head of the employers' association Gesamtmetall reaps for his push for a pension at 70. However, his proposal finds advocates among economists.

In the debate about raising the retirement age to 70, Gesamtmetall President Stefan Wolf received support from economists. "The proposal is correct and important: Because it helps against poverty in old age and also relieves the pension fund, which is about to collapse," said economist Bernd Raffelhüschen from the University of Freiburg of the "Bild" newspaper. His point of view is not surprising: Raffelhüschen acts, among other things, as a lobbyist for the "Initiative New Social Market Economy", which was founded by the employers' association Gesamtmetall. The "business wise" Monika Schnitzer was also open to a higher retirement age.

Wolf - President of the employers' association Gesamtmetall - spoke out in favor of a longer working life in a conversation with the Funke media group, citing, among other things, an aging society as the reason for this. In view of the demographic development and the burden on the social and pension funds, the reserves have been used up. "We will gradually have to go up to the retirement age of 70 - also because people are getting older," explained Wolf. Otherwise the system will no longer be financially viable in the medium term.

While the proposal met with strict rejection from trade unions, left-wing politicians and social organizations, "Wirtschaftsweise" signaled Schnitzer's support. "In order to secure the pension in the future, there are three parameters: retirement age, contribution amount and pension amount. You will not be able to avoid turning all three screws if we don't want to overload future generations," said the Munich economics professor at the Funke media group . The member of the Advisory Council for the assessment of overall economic development also called for the weekly working hours to be made more flexible. "Some want to earn more and are willing to work longer hours for it," she said. "Others want to work a little less. In times of a shortage of skilled workers, concepts should be found that make it possible to integrate as many people as possible into the labor market."

The proposal for a pension at 70 met with opposition from the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), among others. The move is "nothing more than a pension cut with an announcement," said DGB board member Anja Piel. The Social Association Germany (SoVD) also classified the project in this way. Managing Director Ulrich Schneider emphasizes that many people in strenuous professions, such as caregivers in particular, would not yet reach retirement age and would have to accept deductions. "In order to finance pensions in a spirit of solidarity and in a way that is future-proof, what is finally needed is the introduction of a citizens' insurance system into which everyone - including the self-employed, freelancers, politicians and civil servants - pays," says Schneider.

The president of the social association VdK, Verena Bentele, suggested putting the statutory pension insurance on a more solid financial basis. "Instead of unrealistic considerations of further raising the retirement age, we must strengthen the statutory pension insurance system. This means that in the future everyone will have to pay in there - in addition to employees, civil servants, the self-employed and politicians," said Bentele.

It is currently planned to gradually raise the retirement age from 65 to 67 years without deductions by 2029. Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil rejects a further increase in the entry age. As early as May, after a push by economists to retire at 70, he said: "We have agreed in the coalition that we will not raise the statutory retirement age. And that will not change." Left parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch had dismissed Wolf's proposal as "antisocial bullshit".

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