Berlin – The working life is getting longer and longer. Over a million employees are currently 67 years of age or older. At the same time, further shifts in the retirement age are being discussed. Verena Bentele, the head of the largest German social association VdK, thinks such tendencies are wrong. In an interview with the Berliner Zeitung, she describes why, in her eyes, a higher retirement age means a blatant pension reduction program.
According to a response from the federal government to a request from the left in the Bundestag, 1.04 million employees were 67 years of age or older in 2020. Almost 600,000 had a regular job by the age of 70. Almost 220,000 were even 75 years or older and 72,000 employees aged 80 and over. 800,000 mini-jobbers are among the people in employment aged 67 and over. With the combination of pension and mini-job, you don’t have to take out social security and you don’t have to pay taxes on the additional income.
A particularly large number of those affected work in an office, as cleaning staff or drivers. Many older people are also active in the areas of building technology as well as warehouse management and delivery. For years, labor market researchers have been discovering that people do not necessarily feel ready for retirement when they reach retirement age. On average, older people are also fitter than previous generations. In addition, skilled workers are in great demand and also sought after in old age. According to experts, women in particular are often dependent on additional earnings in addition to retirement.
Left parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch sees only half the truth in this. “Of course there are employees who work voluntarily into old age, but for many it is the sheer financial hardship of having to earn something,” said Bartsch. If people who are over 70, 75, 80 or even over 85 years old still have to work, it is a “tragedy”.
VdK President Verena Bentele considers a general increase in the retirement date to be dangerous. “Many people will not be able to work that long – many cannot physically do it. People in hard jobs, be it in construction or in care, receive lower pensions and on average die earlier, ”she says in an interview. She accuses politicians of shying away from the alternative, a restructuring of the pension system, for fear of lobby groups. According to their ideas, workers, employees, civil servants and members of the Bundestag should pay into the pension fund equally. (with dpa)