MPs push for end to pension guarantee
Germany’s 20 million pensioners face an income drop under a push by government MPs to abolish the “pension guarantee,” reports said Tuesday.
Despite Chancellor Angela Merkel’s stated opposition to the idea, many conservative Christian Democrats are joining Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle’s call for the guarantee – which ensures pensions can never actually fall – to be scrapped.
While Germany’s pension is indexed to wage fluctuations, the pension guarantee, introduced last year under the former “grand coalition” government, means pensions can never fall, even if wages do.
CDU deputy parliamentary group leader Michael Fuchs said Tuesday the pension guarantee was unjust. “It cannot be that wages sink but the pension doesn’t,” he told daily Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.
CDU MP Thomas Bareiß called for a “return to normality.” He told the Rheinische Post that the pension guarantee was only meant to be an emergency measure during the financial crisis that should not “go on forever.”
Minister Brüderle, a member of the pro-business Free Democrats – the junior members of the government coalition – renewed his call on Monday for an end to the pension guarantee in an interview with the Rheinische Post.
The acting head of the parliamentary group of the pro-business Free Democrats Heinrich Kolb, however, said the debate was a waste of time at the moment. “It makes no sense to make waves about this. There is no majority in the Bundestag for an end to the pension guarantee,” he told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.
Sascha Vogt, head of the young Social Democrats movement, called Juso, said the push showed the true face of the coalition.