Pension: Many craftsmen face poverty in old age
Created: 05/13/2022, 09:15
By: Lisa Mayerhofer
In April, the labor market benefited from a general upward trend and the corona recovery.
(Iconic image) © Julian Stratenschulte/dpa
Poverty in old age due to a low state pension can even affect high-income craftsmen.
Experts warn against misconceptions.
Berlin – Many Germans are worried about slipping into poverty in old age: A current old-age provision survey by the German Institute for Wealth Creation and Old-Age Provision (DIVA) shows that 60 percent of citizens fear being affected by poverty in old age.
Craftsmen: Low pension due to few years of contributions
A Twitter user makes it clear why this fear is so widespread.
She writes: "To get a gross pension of 2000 euros, you have to earn a gross monthly salary of 4200 euros for 45 years.
That is an annual salary of 50,000 euros.
My brother is a carpenter and receives an annual salary of 26,000 euros with a 40-hour week.
That means poverty in old age.”
She is pretty much right with her calculation: according to focus.de, you would have to earn 4500 euros gross for at least 45 years in order to later receive a pension of 2000 euros.
That is not possible for most Germans.
For example, according to jobs-regional.de, carpenters receive an average annual income of between 24,000 and 33,000 euros.
In this example, the brother of the Twitter user would have to be satisfied with a pension of around 975 euros if he paid into the German pension insurance for 45 years and earned the same amount.
If he only has 30 years of contributions, then it is only about 650 euros.
That's hardly enough to live on.
This would not be uncommon in a craftsman's biography: many craftsmen are self-employed and therefore do not have to pay into the pension fund.
They only have a few years of contributions and thus a low statutory pension.
In addition, the salaries in some trades such as hairdressers, tilers or painters are low - and the risk of poverty in old age is therefore high.
Craftsmen: Don't just regulate old-age provision through state pensions
"For some, the love of craftsmanship is greater than business acumen," says Georg Cramer, Managing Director of the Düsseldorf Chamber of Crafts, to the trade magazine Handwerksblatt.
In difficult cases, affected craft entrepreneurs can turn to the chambers for assistance for the elderly.
That's why Cramer knows that life can sometimes get tight in old age, even for high-earning craftsmen.
There are many reasons for this: illness, bankruptcy, bad luck – or they simply didn't bother to build up their own provisions.
According to the magazine Handwerker, Cramer warns against the assumption that the pension from 18 years of compulsory insurance for craftsmen is a nice basis: “Anyone who has paid the standard amount gets an average pension of only 500 euros.”
Professor Michael Heuser, Scientific Director of DIVA, takes a similar view: "When it comes to their old-age provision, many people only think of the statutory pension, and that will in fact hardly be enough." may be available, for example from privately concluded pensions or from inheritances.
“In addition, some expenses are eliminated in old age.
It is important that the "cross-pillar pension information" project is finally introduced on a broad basis," says Heuser.