Deutschlandrente & Co .: Alternatives to private provision

Deutschlandrente & Co .: Alternatives to private provision News always well informed


Tuesday, 02.02.16, written by Juliane Wellisch

With the Germany pension, three Hessian ministers have presented a new pension model and have restarted the discussion on the future of old-age provision. The ministers support a state-owned fund that can close pension gaps and reduce costs compared to private provision. Now they get backing from the consumer centers.



Deutschlandrente: Verbraucherschützer unterstützen neues Rentenmodell

Germany pension: So the pension insurance could be reformed

According to the three Hessian ministers Tarek Al-Wazir (Greens), Stefan Grüttner and Dr. Ing. Thomas Schäfer (both CDU) offer a supplement to private and company pension plans. Due to population growth and longer life expectancy, pay-as-you-go statutory pension insurance faces considerable challenges . It is to be expected that pension benefits will often be insufficient for future generations. For a long time, politicians and financial experts have been advising consumers to take additional retirement measures. However, both Riester pension and occupational pensions are considered by many experts to be too expensive and inadequate. The model Germany pension builds here at low cost .

So should the Germany pension work

The idea of ​​a Germany pension is simple. In addition to the contributions to the statutory pension insurance , pensioners automatically pay into the Germany pension . It is not a pay-as-you-go system, such as pension insurance, but a simple provision product , which, unlike private pension contracts, has lower costs. Since the Germany pension does not have to be advertised and the expenses for the administration or for commissions are reduced or eliminated altogether, more money flows into the actual old-age provision . The German pension is to be managed, for example, by the Deutsche Rentenversicherung, since this can operate without its own profit interest.

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Germany pension: criticism and counterarguments

Critics fear that the Germany pension could become a compulsory pension . The Hessian ministers are actually building their plans for automatic provision. However, they allow for the possibility of an opt-out , ie a rejection of the Germany pension by unwilling contributors. Another point of criticism: If the pension fund is state-owned, it would be possible for the state to use this money in financial emergencies. Klaus Müller, CEO of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations, told the FAZ that the Germany pension is indeed a “worthwhile idea”. Regarding possible state access, however, it would be necessary to clarify in advance how the pension assets will be protected, “perhaps even through a constitutional commitment.”

Are there any alternatives to the Germany pension?

The Germany pension is far from the first plan to reform the statutory pension insurance . Especially with regard to impending poverty in old age, there have already been several concepts that should, for example, support low earners with extended pension entitlements. The plans for a living-wage pension or even solidarity provide for an increase in low pension payments to up to 850 euros . Prerequisite for this is an existing private pension. In addition, the claim only exists if, for at least 40 years of contributions, 30 years or more has been paid into the pension fund . However, according to many critics, this concept bypasses reality. After all, it is precisely former low-income earners, whose pension entitlements are less than € 850, who usually did not have enough income during their working lives to invest a part in private old-age provision.

Retirement Savings Account: Proposal already on ice since 2012

The life benefits pension is not the only suggestion. The State of Baden-Württemberg has already advocated in 2012 under consumer minister Alexander Bonde with the pension account a very similar concept to the German pension. According to this, a non-profit association, such as Deutsche Rentenversicherung or the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), should enable every consumer to have a retirement savings account with low administration and acquisition costs . In addition, the plans provide for the inheritance of the accumulated pension assets and the calculation of a “realistic life expectancy” in the pension calculation.

This proposal has not yet been taken up by the current federal government as well as the plans for Germany pension . Individual states such as Baden-Württemberg can not go it alone. Because the pension policy is decided at the federal level .


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Grave care and mourning work: Reform requirements for burial laws high

Friday, 05.02.16 , written by Juliane Wellisch Life expectancy in Germany is rising. At the same time, many people are more mobile. The care of the family grave is therefore not as possible as it used to be. In addition, the personal wishes regarding the last peace with many people change. has asked Aeternitas eV which changes are emerging in the funeral culture. >

Neue Wege bei Bestattungen: Mehr Friedwälder, weniger Restriktionen

Funeral culture in transition: Germans want alternatives to the cemetery

Demographic change and increased mobility within the population are linked to numerous social development processes. It used to be a matter of course to look after an elderly relative at home. Nowadays, this is often not possible when adult children have left their home town, for example, for professional reasons.

Not only in life, this has consequences. The burial culture in Germany is also subject to change . For example, tomb care has long since ceased to be a matter of course, even though it used to be part of mourning work in the past. At the same time, many people want alternative burial forms. But implementing them is difficult. Because there are still strict guidelines for burials in Germany, explains Alexander Helbach of the consumer initiative Bestattungskultur Aeternitas eV

The laws of the federal states permit in part different forms of burial. For example, last year Bremen abolished cemetery compulsion and allowed, for example, the scattering of ashes on private property. Do you observe something like a funeral tourism?

Alexander Helbach: No, you can not (yet) speak of that. In Bremen, however, a peculiarity is not to be neglected: The possibility of ash dispersion on private land exists only for deceased Bremen citizens. A kind of “funeral tourism” would not be possible there. Otherwise the same funeral possibilities exist in all federal states in the end (also sea burials are permitted in each federal state, the urn must be transported then only to North or Baltic Sea). There are also burial forests in all federal states (except Bremen, in Berlin and Hamburg only in a cemetery). Here, however, the distribution is very unequal, which is why one or the other urn is sometimes brought to another state.

What is indeed common is “funeral tourism” abroad. In many neighboring countries, such as the Netherlands or Switzerland, relatives can have their urn handed out. Involuntarily it comes in Germany then especially to the “funeral tourism” when municipalities bureaucrats burials, so if no family member can or will take care of the funeral, cause outside of their own cemeteries somewhere else to save money.

Currently, the Thuringia Funeral Act is to be amended to allow or facilitate the establishment of burial or burial forests. More and more people do not only wish for a natural burial such as in such burial forests, but generally alternatives to the last rest in the cemetery. Do you think the policy should react faster with legislative adjustments here?

Alexander Helbach: Definitely . There is a need for reform. Burial forests are the one point (good that Thuringia finally reacts), other points are for example the permits of Umbettungen and the still existing cemetery compulsion. A funeral culture must reflect what people want. Unfortunately, many regulations are very restrictive and are contrary to what many people imagine.

Umbettungen for example are only rarely approved. The problem has been massively exacerbated by the mobile society. Why should not an urn be allowed to move to another cemetery when the survivors move? Otherwise the visit to the grave is extremely difficult.

Majority of Germans against cemetery compulsion for urns

The market research institute TNS Emnid has in the past on behalf of Aeternitas German citizens questioned their opinion on the cemetery compulsion for urns. According to this, 58 percent of respondents call the cemetery compulsion obsolete.

New burial forms and social changes are causing a change in personal mourning work. Do you think that traditional mourning rituals such as regular grave care are dying out? Are other forms of mourning work developing instead?

Alexander Helbach: Classic mourning rituals will certainly not die out. They continue to have their legitimacy and their deeper, consoling purpose. And many people will continue to mean something, but not everyone anymore. As the social life and the ways of thinking of the citizens further fanned out or multiplied, so does the situation with the theme of mourning and farewell.

New mourning rituals are added, existing ones are developed further, old and new are merged – there is a lot going on, as Undertakers report: farewell farewell parties, the favorite music of the deceased, rituals like the lighting of candles, secular funeral orators, etc. For an increasing Number of people means the grave in the cemetery nothing more. The place of burial and the place of remembrance often drift apart. For example, commemoration takes place in the private room, even if a grave still exists in the cemetery.

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