Green social expert Frank Bsirske against growing capital stock for pensions

Frank Bsirske

The Greens politician Frank Bsirske has opposed a long-term safeguarding of pensions through a rapidly growing capital stock.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin The Greens in the Bundestag are fighting against long-term security for pensions a rapidly growing capital stock. “Our pension system cannot be made fit for the coming decades through stock speculation,” said the Greens’ social expert in the Bundestag, Frank Bsirske, of the German Press Agency in Berlin.

With the share reserve, the traffic light coalition wants to go into partial capital cover in view of the retirement of baby boomers. This should serve to stabilize the pension level and contribution rate in the long term.

Bsirske made it clear: “The Greens stand by the coalition agreement to allocate a capital stock of ten billion euros to the pension insurance system. We are opposed to growth.”

Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner (FDP) presented the plans for “generational capital” in mid-January. “We need a capital stock in the three-digit billion range in the pillar of statutory pension insurance,” said Lindner of the “Börsen-Zeitung”. The ten billion are “just the beginning”. Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) had backed the creation of “generational capital” and called for a safe and long-term investment of the money.

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Bsirske said: “In order to avoid an increase in the pension insurance contribution by one percent with the income from investments in the long term, you would need – depending on the amount of the return – a capital stock of 350 to 570 billion euros.” The risk remains high. “We know it’s totally unsafe to speculate in the stock market.”

FDP-Party leadership criticizes Bsirske

Bsirske warned against diverting pension insurance contributions to the capital stock. “That would be at the expense of millions of pensioners if the funds from the pension insurance were used for this.” Contribution funds should not be used to buy shares.

“In view of the capital required, there is reason to fear that a quantum leap for the capital stock will soon be called for,” said Bsirske. “It’s a matter of time before the demand that we have to be big here instead of making a mess is raised.” This path was taken in Sweden years ago. “But that doesn’t mean that it’s for Germany is the right way,” he said.

From the FDPThe party leadership said on Sunday: “Mr. Bsirske’s statements are probably just an attempt to build up bargaining chips in order to bring his own concerns into a package deal.” If Bsirske’s statements were meant seriously in the matter, they would be an expression of shocking economic ignorance, it was said.

“One would have to ask why Mr. Bsirske the pension schemes of the public service for years as earnings-boss supported when he suggested better forms of joint asset accumulation for the under 50s today retirement provision want to withhold.”

The government wants to pave the way for stock pensions as part of a pension package aimed at securing pension levels. The pension level shows the financial security power of pensions in relation to wages. Bsirske demanded: “We have to secure the pension level at least at the current level and strengthen the pay-as-you-go system.”

More and more pensioners are slipping into basic security

As of today, the pension contribution rate will remain below 20 percent until the end of the 1920s, according to Bsirske. Increasing contributions would also be stabilized by federal grants. “I find the fantasies of lowering contributions significantly through speculation on the stock market extremely problematic,” said Bsirske. “We will not go down this path.”

The Greens politician also said: “There are other ways to set the long-term course for the statutory pension – keyword citizens’ insurance, keyword higher contribution assessment ceiling, keyword employer-financed minimum pension contribution.” These are discussions “that are coming to us for the coming legislative period”. Bsirske demanded that a drop in the pension level and a slide of more pensioners into basic security should not be allowed.

According to the latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office, the number of recipients of basic security in old age has risen by a good 68,000 within a year to 647,515 last September. In 2015 it was still 527,353.

More: Stock pension is to be massively expanded according to Lindner

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