Politicians are currently arguing primarily about pensions at 63. The chairwoman of the Advisory Council sees a broad consensus as the need of the hour – for a comprehensive pension reform.

The head of the “Economic Experts”, Monika Schnitzer, has called on politicians to reform pensions. Schnitzer told the German Press Agency in Berlin: “It would be important to reach a cross-party consensus on a reform of pensions as a whole. That would be the order of the day. We cannot afford to simply allow pensions to continue to rise as they have done so far.”

The FDP had called for the abolition of the zero-deduction pension at the age of 63 after 45 years of employment in order to save money. Work incentives for older people should be increased. The SPD rejects changes to the pension at 63. Against the background of a dispute over the 2025 federal budget, a planned pension reform has not yet been decided by the federal cabinet. The reform is intended to guarantee a pension level of 48 percent for the future. The government also wants to invest at least 200 billion euros from federal funds in the capital market by the mid-2030s. Premium increases should be dampened from the income.

Schnitzer said the level of retirement should not be lowered. “But the increases should be limited. Pension increases are currently linked to wage developments. Only a very few countries do it like that.” Most countries orientate themselves on the development of inflation. “In normal times, when inflation is not as high as wage developments, that would mean that you are less involved in economic development. But at least purchasing power remains intact.”

As the baby boomers retire, there are fewer employees who can pay the pension contributions, emphasized Schnitzer. “We have to adapt to that. The problem is that the baby boomers have not kept part of the generational contract. They paid for the pensioners with their contributions. But they did not have and raise enough children to later have enough contributors to their own pensions. We have to deal with that somehow.”

Ultimately, you have to save more for your pension, said Schnitzer. “It was already announced 20 years ago that the statutory pension alone would not be enough to maintain living standards. Unfortunately, not everyone really took that seriously.” There could be government subsidies to enable low-income earners to save for their pension.

Schnitzer said of the pension at 63: “If you look at who is taking advantage of it, then it is employees who have earned an average salary and are in above-average health. So not the roofers who can no longer work after a long working life, but people who are healthy and could actually continue to work, people who have earned an average salary and can live well on their pension, especially if they retire without any reductions.”

She continued: “If you wanted to make the measure more targeted and really take into account the fact that some people cannot work for so long, then you should reserve this tax-free pension for low earners,” said the chairwoman of the Advisory Council for the Assessment of Overall Economic Development Federal Government advisory committee. “That was our suggestion in the last annual report. These people are sick more often and live shorter lives than higher earners.”