To be able to analyze the future course of the German pension insurance system, along with the effects of actual and/or prospective reforms, one requires a simulation model capable of imaging the system in line with its decisive determinants. In the process, a variety of potential demographic and economic developments must be taken into account.
MEA-PENSIM is a pension simulation program that is continually being advanced. It depicts the pay-as-you-go public pillar of the German pension insurance scheme as well as selected aspects of private funded retirement arrangements. Moreover, it contains modules to determine the development of statutory health insurance and long-term care.
MEA-PENSIM strives for realistic projections into the future of the German pension insurance system. It thereby focuses primarily on issues relating to the prospective effects of demographic change on contribution rates and the level of pension benefits. How serious are the consequences of a declining pension level – based on diverse reform scenarios – likely to be for retirees? Can the supplementary, government-sponsored Riester plan close the expected gap in statutory old-age provision? What share of retirees' pension income will eventually be provided by supplementary retirement arrangements?
With the aid of versatile model calculations, the simulation program moreover estimates the impact of various pension-policy measures against the backdrop of differing assumptions about demographic and economic developments, and subsequently drafts appropriate reform proposals. Important questions here target the system's long-range stability, or the extent to which changes on the labor market are able to offset the repercussions of demographic change. In times of economic uncertainty due to the corona pandemic, MEA-PENSIM also provides information about the consequences for the pension insurance.
Since 2017 MEA-PENSIM has been continuously updated with regard to changes in the underlying model parameters. For example, we have taken up the pension reforms that have been approved as far as possible and necessary. In addition, work is currently being carried out on a variant which, in addition to age, region and gender, also takes into account the income situation of the employees (Project 1.087). MEA-PENSIM is used in several projects. Among other things, MEA-PENSIM was the pension simulation model used by the Pension Commission (Project 1.094). In addition, the simulation results are used in the ISS projects (project 1.070, 1.089, 1.093).