Attention consumers: That will change in December

The Deutsche Bahn changes the timetable and increases the prices, the energy price flat rate for pensioners is paid out, the facility-related corona vaccination obligation ends, and the Germans can let it rip again.

Attention consumers: That will change in December

The Deutsche Bahn changes the timetable and increases the prices, the energy price flat rate for pensioners is paid out, the facility-related corona vaccination obligation ends, and the Germans can let it rip again. This and other things await you in the new month.

Deutsche Bahn is changing the timetable and prices

A new timetable will apply to Deutsche Bahn from December 11th. The winter timetable is valid until June 10, 2023. With the new timetable, long-distance tickets will be an average of 4.9 percent more expensive and regional tickets will be 4 percent more expensive - this is due to high inflation.

The prices for a BahnCard 25, 50 and 100 will increase by an average of 4.9 percent, the Flex prices will increase by an average of 6.9 percent. Saver prices, on the other hand, remain unchanged at 17.90 euros for super saver prices and 21.90 euros for saver prices. The same applies to the super saver price Young, which is available to travelers under the age of 27 from EUR 12.90. Seat reservations also remain unchanged at EUR 4.50 in 2nd class and EUR 5.90 in 1st class.

Apart from that, the new ICE 3neo will be used daily between Dortmund, Cologne and Frankfurt with the winter timetable. On Saturdays there is a return trip between Dortmund and Munich via the new Wendlingen–Ulm high-speed line. With the timetable change, 13,000 additional seats will be available every day. Around 80 special trains with 40,000 additional seats are used on routes that are in high demand. Around 800 new employees will join the service team by Christmas.

Energy price flat rate for pensioners is paid

In view of the persistently high price increases in the energy sector, the federal government decided in the aftermath that the approximately 21 million pension and utility recipients should also be relieved and receive an energy price flat rate (EPP) of 300 euros. Previously, the fact that retirees were not included in the windfall had caused a great deal of unrest, while many employees already had the money in their accounts by September. Among them are some retirees who are employed.

The latter can now look forward to a second EPP until December 15 - the payment is planned by then. And that's completely legal. As reported by the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund in Berlin, this is not an unauthorized double payment for the approximately two million pensioners affected. And the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs also lets citizens know on its website: "The payments are not mutually exclusive." In addition, the EPP is not taken into account for income-related social benefits and is not subject to the obligation to contribute to social security. However, it is subject to tax.

In principle, it is not necessary to submit an application to receive it. Payment is made automatically via the pension service of Deutsche Post AG, the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Knappschaft Bahn See or the Landwirtschaftliche Altenkasse. And the federal government will also make a corresponding one-off payment for the approximately 1.5 million federal pension recipients. Implementation is the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Facility-related corona vaccination ends

The obligation to vaccinate employees against the coronavirus in the care and health sector since March 15, 2022 ends at the end of the year. To date, they have had to prove that they have been vaccinated against the corona virus, have been medically exempted from vaccination or have recovered. Without proof, they are no longer allowed to work in certain institutions.

Nationwide warning day

The next nationwide warning day will take place on December 8, 2022. On this day of action, the federal and state governments as well as the participating districts, urban districts and municipalities are testing their warning devices in a joint exercise. This includes various media and channels such as television and radio stations, the Internet or (via applications such as the warning app NINA) also mobile phones.

From 11:00 a.m., the authorities and emergency services involved activate various warning devices. For the first time, the test warning message will also be sent via cell broadcast and will reach around half of all mobile phones in Germany directly.

The strategy for warnings in Germany is to be able to warn the population in many ways. This procedure corresponds to the so-called multi-channel approach or "warning mix". For this purpose, the federal government has developed the modular warning system (MoWaS), which it operates and uses together with the federal states and municipalities.

More money for officials

From December 1, 2022, pay scale employees in the federal states will receive 2.8 percent more money. They will also receive a tax-free special payment of 1,300 euros at the beginning of next year. Trainees and students receive 650 euros. The collective bargaining agreement has a term of 24 months. Apprentices, interns and students in the public sector get 50 euros more, in the health sector it is 70 euros.

One-off relief for gas and district heating customers

Gas and district heating consumers should receive a special payment in the amount of a monthly gas bill in December, or they can save it. The suppliers should therefore waive the down payment for December for practically all household and commercial customers and have it reimbursed by the state. As usual, the property management must also determine the deductions and divide the grants. Customers themselves do not have to do anything. Advance payments that are made via the rent should be credited to the next utility bill. In addition, the federal government has announced the good news that the gas price brake will only take effect from March 2023, but will also apply retrospectively for the months of January and February of the coming year.

3000 euros inflation compensation premium from the boss?

As during the pandemic, employers are again able to transfer money to their employees tax-free to help them pay their increased costs. This time the amount was even doubled from 1500 to 3000 euros. The employer does not have to pay the lump sum, but he can. If he feels like it or if the company's financial situation allows it. Then he actually has nothing to do other than enter the bonus in the "tax-free allowance" wage type. If the payment marked in this way is made by the end of 2024, then it is completely exempt from tax and social security.

Microsoft is ending support for Windows 10 21H 1

Microsoft announced the end of support for Windows 10 version 21H 1 on December 13. From this date there will be no security updates for the system. But it can still be used. "After this date, devices running this version will no longer receive monthly security and quality updates that include protection against the latest security threats," Microsoft says.

Deadlines for Christmas mail

According to Deutsche Post, the following posting deadlines apply to the timely delivery of letters and parcels by December 24:

letters and postcards

Shipping to:

DHL packages and parcels

Shipping to:

New Year's Eve - fireworks can be sold again

For the past two years, selling pyrotechnics on New Year's Eve has been banned across the board. In addition, there was a ban on arrival and assembly. This year we can expect to be able to celebrate in full again. Including firecrackers. However, it is possible for municipalities to set up no-gun zones.

Tattoo and hair removal only with a certificate

From December 31st, anyone who is toying with the idea of ​​getting rid of their tattoo by laser treatment can only do so with licensed doctors who are actually trained and have the appropriate certificate. When it comes to getting rid of unwanted hair growth in the intimate area, beauticians can also use the laser. However, only with appropriately proven qualifications. The corresponding innovations are regulated in the Radiation Protection Act.