A decade ago, German low income earners could expect to live to the age of 77.5, but in 2010 they could only hope to make 75.5, according to a report in the Saarbrücker Zeitung newspaper on Monday.
The German government revealed the decline in response to an official question from The Left party.
The decline has been more drastic in the former communist eastern Germany, where life expectancy among low income earners has dropped from 77.9 years to 74.1 years over the same period. The statistics mean that, in effect, the general trend towards a longer retirement period only applies to average or above-average incomes.
Most people born after 1964 in Germany can now only expect to draw on their full pension at the age of 67.
The report also found that the proportion of 60 to 64-year-olds working in a job with a permanent contract has only risen very slightly in the past year. A permanent contract is considered more stable and valuable in Germany, because it means that the employer pays a part of the employee’s social security contributions for pensions and health insurance.
In March 2010, only 24.9 percent of that age group were working in such jobs, as opposed to 26.4 percent in March 2011. Only 18.7 percent of people in that age group are currently working full-time, 1.1 percent more than last year.