ARCHIV - Ein älterer Herr mit grauen Haaren weißt eine Wand, aufgenommen am 18.02.2014 auf der Leipziger Messe in Leipzig (Sachsen). Foto: Jan Woitas/dpa (zu dpa "Immer mehr Ältere in Deutschland bleiben im Job" vom 15.07.2015) +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

In the debate about raising the retirement age to 70, Gesamtmetall President Stefan Wolf received support from economic experts. “The proposal is correct and important: because it helps against poverty in old age and also relieves the pension fund, which is about to collapse,” said economist Bernd Raffelhüschen from the University of Freiburg of the “Bild” newspaper. The “business wise” Monika Schnitzer was also open to a higher retirement age.

Wolf – President of the employers’ association Gesamtmetall – spoke out in favor of a longer working life in a conversation with the Funke media group, citing, among other things, an aging society as the reason for this.

In view of the demographic development and the burden on the social and pension funds, the reserves have been used up. “We will gradually have to go up to the retirement age of 70 – also because people are getting older,” explained Wolf. Otherwise the system will no longer be financially viable in the medium term.

While the proposal met with strict rejection from trade unions, left-wing politicians and social organizations, “Wirtschaftsweise” Schnitzer signaled support. “In order to secure your pension in the future, there are three parameters: retirement age, contribution amount and pension amount. You won’t be able to avoid turning all three screws if we don’t want to overload future generations,” said the Munich economics professor at the Funke media group.

The member of the Advisory Council for the assessment of overall economic development also called for the weekly working hours to be made more flexible. “Some want to earn more and are willing to work longer hours for it,” she said. “Others prefer to work a little less. In times of a shortage of skilled workers, concepts should be found that make it possible to integrate as many people as possible into the labor market.”

The proposal for a pension at 70 met with opposition from the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), among others. The move was “nothing more than a pension cut with an announcement,” said DGB board member Anja Piel. The Social Association Germany (SoVD) also classified the project as follows: “Increasing the retirement age means nothing more than a pension reduction,” said SoVD President Adolf Bauer according to the announcement. Such a project is “simply unacceptable”. Instead, there needs to be a fundamental debate about the financing of statutory pension insurance.

The president of the social association VdK, Verena Bentele, suggested putting the statutory pension insurance on a more solid financial basis. “Instead of unrealistic considerations about further raising the retirement age, we must strengthen the statutory pension insurance. That means: In the future, everyone will have to pay in there – in addition to employees, civil servants, the self-employed and politicians,” said Bentele.