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MONEY

When are people in Germany retiring?

The retirement age in Germany has been rising for years. But last year, people retired a little earlier - and they received slightly higher pensions than those who became pensioners the previous year, according to a report.

Two older people sit on a bench in Dresden, Saxony.
Two older people sit on a bench in Dresden, Saxony. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Sebastian Kahnert

Politicians and economists have been arguing that people in Germany will have to retire later in life due to the ageing society. But a new report showed German residents actually entered their retirement phase of life slightly earlier last year than the previous year. 

According to figures from the German Pension Insurance Fund, a total of 1.435 million employees retired in Germany in 2021.

On average, men retired at the age of 64.05, while in 2020 the retirement age for them was 64.07. Women retired at 64.18 – compared to 64.24 the previous year.

Despite the recent slight decline, there has been a different trend for a long time, reported German magazine Spiegel. The average time that people have been subject to pension insurance has increased by four years since the beginning of the noughties. In 2000, for instance, only 10 percent of 60-64 year-olds were subject to pension insurance, whereas recently it has climbed to more than 40 percent.

The fact that this is now changing, at least slightly, could have something to do with the increasing salaries of new pensioners. When it comes to old-age pensions, men received an average of €1,204 in 2021, compared to €1,171 net the previous year. Women got €856 in 2021 compared to €827 the year before. 

READ MORE: How does Germany’s pension system measure up worldwide?

For reduced earning-capacity pensions, men received an average of €956 (compared to €914 in 2020) net per month, and women received €882 (€851 in 2020).

The highest average pensions were received by people who retired with the deduction-free pension after 45 years of insurance (known as ‘Rente mit 63‘ or pension at 63 in Germany). For men, the average pension payment in this case after deduction of health and long-term care insurance contributions was €1,579 per month, and for women it was €1,235.

Figures show that older people in Germany – especially the highly qualified – are increasingly working to the retirement age – and even beyond. However, many baby boomers would rather get out sooner than later. Furthermore, the retirement age can’t be postponed in some cases such as physically demanding jobs.

When calculating state pensions in Germany, the number of years worked, your age, and average income determine what people receive. 

What is the current retirement age in Germany?

The age of retirement in Germany has been slowly increasing since the year 2012, when a government reform raised it from 65 to an eventual age of 67.

Currently, the age of retirement is being raised by a month each year. People who were born in the year 1956 and celebrated their 65th birthday last year will likely have to wait until they are 10 months past their 65th birthday before they can celebrate their retirement.

Starting in the year 2024, the age of retirement will be raised by two months every year until it hits a ceiling of 67. That means that people born in the year 1964 will have to wait until their 67th birthday before they can start to enjoy their next phase of life after working. 

Germany’s ruling coalition – made up of the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Free Democrats (FDP) – have not agreed on pushing up the retirement age, although they are examining the issue of how to keep the pensions system afloat.

READ ALSO: Pensions: How the new government plans to solve an old-age issue

Some experts in Germany say the retirement age will definitely have to be raised further because people are living longer and there won’t be enough workers paying for pensioners in future. 

The head of the German pension insurance, Gundula Roßbach, warned months ago that politicians would have to “keep a close eye” on the development.

READ ALSO: Could people in Germany soon be working until they are 68?

Vocabulary

Pensioners – (die) Rentner

Pensions/old-age pensions – (die) Altersrenten

Reduced in earning capacity pensions – (die) Erwerbsminderungsrenten

Pension insurance – (die) Rentenversicherung

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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MONEY

Consumers in Germany face further food price hikes

People in Germany will have to prepare for more increases in the cost of several products, especially food and drink, according to researchers. But there are signs that inflation could ease up later in the year.

Consumers in Germany face further food price hikes

According to the survey conducted in June among food, beverage, and tobacco retailers, price expectations are at 98.9 points. This means that almost all bosses surveyed are planning to raise prices, and consumers in Germany will have to dig even deeper into their pockets in the coming months.

The majority of the surveyed retailers in other sectors also plan to put prices up: their price expectations rose to 78.6 points, up from 75.5 points. “We can therefore expect inflation rates to remain high for the time being,” said Timo Wollmershäuser, Head of Forecasts at ifo.

The points indicate the percentage of companies planning to raise their prices. The balance is obtained by subtracting from the percentage of companies that want to raise their prices, the proportion of those that want to lower their prices. If all the companies surveyed planned to increase their prices, the balance would be 100 points.

People in Germany have been dealing with the rising cost of living for months as inflation has spiralled upwards.

Last week the Federal Statistical Office estimated inflation for June at 7.6 percent year-on-year. Although this means that inflation slowed down slightly, it is still at a very high level. Food prices rose at an above-average rate of 12.7 percent.

READ ALSO: German inflation slows in June as government steps in

However, the ifo Institute went on to say that there were signs that the inflation rate could go down. 

“There are initial signs that the rate of inflation could gradually decrease toward the end of the year,” Wollmershäuser said.

“In several economic sectors with production upstream of private consumption, price expectations have now dropped twice in a row.”

These include manufacturing (which was 59.7 points and previously 66.7 points), construction (50.0 points, previously 56.0 points), and wholesale (57.4 points, previously 68.1 points). The ifo said it is only among service providers that price expectations have remained largely the same (47.1 points).

It’s not clear how high the planned cost increases will be because the ifo Institute does not ask about the amounts.

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