You’ll be a pensioner at 63 in Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s grand coalition government did a double take on Germany’s pension laws and lowered the legal retiring age to 63 just when workers were getting used to the old rules, which put retiring age at 67.
The changes in pension rules is just one of the many reforms the grand coalition plans to undertake, which includes changes to the minimum wage and the energy market. During Friday’s debates, Merkel defended the reforms as ‘fair policy’ while Social Democrat Labour Minister Andrea Nahles called it ‘just and necessary.’
Many economic institutes disagree with the changes and have called them ‘disastrous.’ This is because, since Germany has an ageing population, adequate labour is needed to finance the pension system that would accommodate more and more pensioners once the retiring age is lowered. BDI Federation of German Industries head Ulrich Grillo said ‘It’s all the opposite of what we should be doing.’
The Labour minister however clarified that workers who reach 63 can still talk to their employers to allow them to work beyond the retiring age. According to a poll of senior citizens last year in America, it was found that senior citizens enjoy working late in life.
A poll for ARD Public TV shows that the 73% of Germans agree with the reforms while 22% said it was wrong.
Many call the move by Merkel’s government a paradox since the chancellor formerly championed for higher retiring age. Her 2007 tie-up with the Social Democrats led to agreement on the gradual rise of the retiring age to 67.