"Drops in the ocean"?: Net pensions are rising more than they have in a long time

Ten years ago, net pensions were 855 euros.

"Drops in the ocean"?: Net pensions are rising more than they have in a long time

Ten years ago, net pensions were 855 euros. After small increases, the pension rate made a big leap last year, rising by 5.8 percent. But more than half of pensioners still receive less than 1000 euros. "Deeply unfair," says VdK President Bentele.

Net pensions in Germany rose more sharply in the past year than they have in years. The average pension paid out increased from 1089 to 1152 euros, an increase of 63 euros, as confirmed by the German pension insurance. The social association VdK called this a "drop in the bucket" in view of the rising prices and called for short-term one-off payments. More than half of pensioners still receive less than 1000 euros.

According to the information, men received an average of 1276 euros a month last year and thus 68 euros net more; for women it was 1060 euros, an increase of 59 euros. In 2013, the average pension was still 855 euros. The old-age benefits have increased by an average of 34.8 percent since then, as the pension insurance company further announced.

It includes all pension benefits, i.e. old-age pensions, disability and widow’s pensions. The main reasons for the strong overall increase last year were, among other things, the strong pension increases on July 1 of 5.35 percent in the west and 6.12 percent in the east. There were also improvements for disability pensioners and the introduction of the basic pension. The average net widow's pension increased last year from 512 to 540 euros, the widower's pension from 374 to 396 euros. This related to pensioners who did not receive any further old-age pension.

According to the information, the number of multiple pensioners who receive a widow's or widower's pension in addition to their own pension fell for the first time in 2022: by almost 10,000 to 4.117 million people. The many deaths among seniors due to the corona pandemic are considered a possible cause. On average, men who also received a widower's pension received EUR 1,717 net (plus EUR 89). Women with their own pension and widow's pension were paid 1,573 euros a month, an increase of 83 euros.

The spokesman for the German Pension Insurance Association, Dirk von der Heide, said women in particular benefited from several pension payments from the statutory pension insurance. "Around 3.5 million receive a widow's pension in addition to their own old-age pension. In contrast, only around 610,000 men also receive a widower's pension in addition to their own pension." The pension insurance makes a major contribution to financial security in the event of the death of a partner, especially for widows.

VdK President Verena Bentele pointed out that many pensioners have oil and gas heating and have to cope with rising energy costs. In addition, groceries have become more and more expensive. "For a long time, many recipients of small pensions have had to turn over every penny," says Bentele. Therefore, pensioners with low retirement income "need urgently and in the short term additional one-off payments".

Bentele called it "deeply unfair that those who receive basic security in old age are fully credited with the statutory pension". The VdK President demanded: "Pensioners who live below the subsistence level must have more in their pockets than those who have never paid into the pension insurance."

Left parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch called for an extraordinary increase in pensions by ten percent despite the sharp increase in net pensions. "The increase in pensions does not even begin to compensate for the prices for energy and food," he told the Funke newspapers. In addition to a ten percent increase in pensions, the pension level must be permanently raised to 53 percent, according to Bartsch.