A commission of ten experts was to create what the Union and the SPD failed to achieve in their coalition negotiations: to develop a perspective for retirement in an aging society.
The chances of success were slim. Because not only were those politicians from the coalition who did not agree before. The unions and employers, who often disagree on the pension, also had their say.
The recommendations in the now published final report remain vague, the question of the future retirement age is even outsourced to another commission. For a long time, the experts also advised on the further development of the pension level, without ultimately reaching a consensus.
The SPD and unions in particular have symbolically charged pension levels in recent years and made them the standard for justice. This fixation on a statistical value is a mistake and hinders the reform debates. Because the current pension level of 48 percent is a calculation that hardly anyone outside the specialist understands.
When there is talk of a falling pension level, this often triggers the false fear of pension cuts. Because the lowering of gross pensions is legally excluded.
The level of pensions also says nothing about the level of individual entitlements. It expresses the ratio of standard pension to average income in Germany. A falling level means that pensions are rising more slowly than wages.
The corona sequences show how deceptive this size is. The economist Axel Börsch-Supan expects that annual wages for employees will decrease noticeably – which should lead to an increase in the calculated pension level.
The union demand for a pension level of at least 50 percent could therefore soon be met – even if nobody has more money in their pockets.
More: Minister of Labor Heil wants to start another pension reform this year