Hardship fund: Saxony-Anhalt leaves participation open
Created: 2022-12-15Updated: 2022-12-15, 12:01 p.m
An elderly man counts money at a table.
© Lino Mirgeler/dpa/Illustration
Politicians agree: In the course of reunification, injustices have arisen for many pensioners in the East.
The state parliament in Magdeburg debated ways out on Thursday.
However, there is still no solution for a hardship fund.
Magdeburg - The state government of Saxony-Anhalt has left open whether it will participate in the federal hardship fund for needy pensioners.
One sees the federal government in the “obligation to make adjustments under pension law,” said Minister of Social Affairs Petra Grimm-Benne (SPD) on Thursday in the state parliament.
During the debate, all parliamentary groups emphasized that in the course of reunification, injustices had arisen for many pensioners in the east - especially for employees in the railway, postal, health and social services as well as in the natural sciences and mining.
A federal hardship fund is intended to enable one-off payments to pensioners on the poverty line who lost their entitlements when the GDR pensions were transferred to the federal system three decades ago.
The payments are intended to mitigate particular hardships, they are not intended for all groups of people affected.
The budget committee in the Bundestag has released 500 million euros for the fund.
The federal states can join a corresponding foundation and participate.
The planned one-off payment of 2,500 euros could thus be doubled.
The state parliament in Magdeburg decided unanimously on Thursday that the state government should consider joining the foundation.
Grimm-Benne said that the state government is also in contact with the other states.
According to the Minister of Social Affairs, Saxony-Anhalt would have to budget around 30 million euros for a participation.
Monika Hohmann (left) called on the state government to increase the hardship fund.
Basically, this is a disappointment.
Too few people would benefit.
The parliamentary group estimates that there are around 10,700 people in Saxony-Anhalt entitled to claim.
Susan Sziborra-Seidlitz (Greens) also called for state participation.
"Don't check, but implement!", she said.
Tobias Krull (CDU) self-critically admitted that the black-red federal government had not managed to find a solution by 2021.
However, the pension problem cannot be clarified at the expense of the federal states.
In principle, the federal government is responsible for this.
Daniel Rausch (AfD) said cross-border votes were needed.
The existing injustices must be remedied.
Konstantin Pott (FDP) also called for agreements with other countries.
In the end, the amount of the payment shouldn't depend on where you live, said Pott.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has already announced that it will participate in the foundation and double the one-off payment.
SPD parliamentary group leader Katja Pähle said that in addition to the hardship fund, there must also be a justice fund to compensate for distortions in the pension system between East and West.
In principle, the system of contribution-financed pensions would be much more robust if everyone paid into the pension insurance system - including civil servants, the self-employed, ministers and members of parliament, said Pähle.