Lassen sich Haltelinien, finanzielle Nachhaltigkeit und Generationengerechtigkeit miteinander verbinden?
Since 2019, a so-called "double stop line" has been in place to ensure that the statutory replacement rate of the German public pension insurance does not drop below 48% and that the contribution rate does not rise above 20%. This stop line applies until 2025. Subsequently, "old law" applies again, according to which replacement and contribution rates are adjusted in accordance with the pension adjustment formula, including the sustainability factor. The latter takes the demographic change into account in order to secure the financing of pension benefits in a sustainable and generation-appropriate manner. However, the implied increase of the contribution rate and the implied drop in the replacement rate are in conflict with the desire of the population to have “pension security” cast in fixed stop lines.
This paper presents possible ways out of this dilemma. They consist of different combinations of stop lines, sustainable financing and a generation-appropriate distribution of the demographic burden. The paper uses the MEA-PENSIM model to calculate the developments of the replacement rate, the contribution rate and any additional funds from the federal government. Almost none of these alternative models can stabilize the contribution rate without substantial additional federal funds in the long term. This is mainly due to the fact that the financial situation of pension insurance after 2030 will be determined by an increasing difference between retirement age and life expectancy. We are therefore supplementing the models by adapting the retirement age to life expectancy after 2031, when the "pension at 67" will be fully introduced. We show that – except from the two models of a double stop line – all other models could keep a contribution rate of less than 23% without the need for additional federal funds.