Pensions office demands €4.6 quadrillion

DPA/The Local
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Pensions office demands €4.6 quadrillion
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A mistake at the pensions office in Essen meant that a woman with a part-time job was asked to pay €4,632,124,357,000,001 in contributions – more than a thousand times Germany's GDP in 2014.


“Yes, the letter did in fact go out like that,” pensions office spokesman Wolfgang Buschfort confirmed on Wednesday.

He said that the pensions office worker had accidentally copied a customer number into the form, rather than the amount outstanding.

In fact, the woman from the Schwarzwald in Baden-Württemberg should only have been billed for a number in the low three figures.

Fortunately the mistake was spotted before the impossible figure was debited from the woman's bank account - meaning that the only trace of it was the heart-stopping length of the number on the paper copy.

“As far as I know, this is the only time anyone has been called on to make such a large incorrect payment,” Buschfort said, adding that a service with 26,000 employees would inevitably make mistakes.

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