Old-age provisions in Germany: Changes in the retirement system since the 1980s
Pensions absorb the largest share of the welfare state in financial terms. This is true not only in the aggregate but also for individuals. Financial security in old age is of key importance. The provision of financial security, however, is contingent upon the institutional arrangement of social security systems. This paper describes key features of Statutory Pension Insurance (SPI), the most important provision for financial security in old age from which most senior citizens derive the largest part of their retirement income. It focuses next on core SPI features: How benefits are calculated; important changes since the 1980s; and, how these changes affect average pensions. With various routes into retirement - particularly in Germany - the following chapter then discusses these different paths and how they were reformed over time. Following that, occupational and private pensions are examined as alternative means to oldage financial security other than SPI. Here we do so with empirical data showing the evolution of different, old-age income sources since the 1990s. This institutional description shows that SPI became less generous between 1980 and 2007: First, the pension formula has been modified several times resulting in shrinking benefits. The introduction of actuarial reductions, in 1997, for early enrolment of benefits amplified this, since a considerable number of people retire before the statutory retirement age and, therefore, receive lower pensions. Moreover, in several steps, university education has been completely disregarded in the valuation of pensions. At the same time, credits were given for child-raising and child-care services. Whereas the former is already in force, the latter will only benefit future generations of pensioners. Thus, those most affected by welfare state changes in relation to old-age pensions are pensioners who retire early and have higher education.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Reichpietschufer 50, 10785 Berlin, Germany|
Phone: ++49 - 30 - 25491 - 0
Fax: ++49 - 30 - 25491 - 684
Web page: http://www.wzb.eu/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ebbinghaus, Bernhard, 2008. "Reforming Early Retirement in Europe, Japan and the USA," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199553396, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbisi:spi2011208. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.