The idea of ​​Cologne economists to include pensioners in the threatened loss of prosperity is met with approval. The FDP now also wants to put the so-called catch-up factor back into force.

If wages fall, pensions would not fall under the current regulation.

Dhe demand of the Cologne economic research institute IW to transfer the threatened loss of prosperity due to the Corona crisis to pensioners as well, has met with approval. Of course, that is no longer the case. Because, in principle, the pension formula ensures with a time delay that the pension adjustments are lower again after an economic crisis.

But with the introduction of a “stop line” for the pension level of at least 48 percent, the coalition de facto suspended this automatism by 2025. In view of the foreseeable wage losses for many employees, the FDP social politician Johannes Vogel is now calling on the Union and the SPD to reinstate the so-called catch-up factor to dampen the rise in pensions.

“Now it becomes clear how fatal the manipulation of the pension formula by the coalition in 2018 was. With the change in the law at that time, not only was the sustainability factor actually suspended, but also the catching-up factor, ”Vogel told the FAZ.

“That would be simply unfair”

If wages fell, pensions would not fall, but if wages rose again, pensions would also go fully with this upward movement. The catch-up factor was introduced a good ten years ago during the financial crisis to ensure that the increase in pensions, which are not allowed to fall because of the statutory pension guarantee, is dampened in the following years until the cut that was left out is compensated for.

This no longer applies since the introduction of the stop lines. Vogel said: “The CDU, CSU and SPD must correct this imbalance as quickly as possible and ensure that the catch-up factor is applied again with immediate effect – at least as long as the pension level is above 48 percent.” Otherwise the younger ones would have to bear the burden of the Corona crisis carry alone. “That would simply be unfair.”

At the same time, Vogel disagreed with the IW’s proposal to halve the pending pension increases for the 21 million pensioners in anticipation of the consequences of the crisis. “It is good and right that pensions will be increased in the summer, since wages have also increased in the past year. That requires the principle of reliability in the pension formula. ”On July 1, pensions in western Germany are to rise by 3.45 percent, in the east by 4.2 percent.

If wages fall noticeably this year because of the Corona crisis, this would have the curious consequence that the pension level rises significantly while the country is doing worse overall. Vogel said: “The catching-up factor and the right pension increase this year therefore go hand in hand. If you decide to go on a hike together, then one of them has to wait when the other has a stone in his shoe. If he did not do this, one would lose sight of each other and everyone would run for himself. That is not my idea of ​​a generation contract. “