Law in the bundestag: union clears the way for basic pension

More pensions for 1.3 million people: After a long dispute, the Union and the SPD have now agreed on the basic pension – the draft law is to be passed by the Bundestag this week.

The Bundestag is due to vote on the long-planned basic pension this week. The CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt announced. The Union will approve the bill, even if the funding is not yet satisfactory. It is about creating security for the pensioners affected.

The agreement between the coalition partners was preceded by a long dispute. The Union had so far resisted funding the basic pension from the federal budget. The draft law, largely conceived by the SPD ministers Hubertus Heil and Olaf Scholz, initially provided income from a – not yet existing – tax on financial transactions and 400 million euros from the budget of the Federal Ministry of Labor as sources of finance. The two ministers were "not in a position to provide the promised financing for the basic pension," criticized Dobrindt.

Criticism of funding remains

The 400 million euros announced by Heil from the budget of the Ministry of Labor have not yet been secured. One cannot be very satisfied with one’s work. Dobrindt criticized that the financial transaction tax promised by Scholz was still not being implemented quickly. He wanted a European financial transaction tax – but so far Scholz has not made the necessary proposals, said the CSU regional group leader.

Until recently, requests from the Union had also come to postpone the project because of the financial burdens of the Corona crisis or to put it on hold.

Basic pension for 1.3 million people from 2021

The draft law on the basic pension, which was first discussed in the Bundestag in mid-May, provides that around 1.3 million people with small pensions will receive an allowance from 2021 if they can prove sufficient contribution periods. A low-wage earner with 35 years of contribution or recognized years for child-rearing or care can therefore, under certain conditions, achieve a supplement of up to 404.86 euros per month. According to Dobrindt, the draft should now be finally passed by the Bundestag on Thursday or Friday.

Dobrindt did not want the Union’s approval of the draft to be understood as a "change of direction". With their approval, the Union is signaling "that we want the basic pension," he said – "and we do not want to give the SPD the opportunity to deal with the topic of pensions in the summer".

The deputy leader of the SPD parliamentary group, Katja Mast, said that with the agreement, the SPD and Federal Minister of Labor had kept their word. "The basic pension is coming," says Mast. She described the pension increase as a "socio-political milestone". "Those who have worked long hours – even for little money – should have more when they retire," she emphasized. This recognizes life’s work. Due to the administrative challenges, the payment will be made gradually from July 2021 on. Above all, women and people in the eastern federal states who had worked for little money for many years would benefit.

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