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Ten Big Myths About Retirement: What's True and What's Not


There are many myths about retirement. Which myths are true and which are not.

There are many myths about retirement.

Which myths are true and which are not.

Berlin - Too late, too little, too many deductions: Many people are worried about their future pension.

However, not all assumptions or prejudices are confirmed in practice.

You can safely shelve some of them.

1. "The pension fund invests my paid contributions - and later pays them out to me as a pension."

That is not right.

The pension system works via a pay-as-you-go system.

This means: A large part of the contributions paid in by insured persons is paid directly to pensioners.

Only a small reserve is retained, which is intended to compensate for unexpected fluctuations, writes Finanztest




Pensioners sit on a bench: There are some pension misconceptions.

We clear them up.

© Patrick Pleul/dpa

Instead, insured persons are credited with pension points for the contributions they have paid in, from which their respective pension is later calculated.

The pensions of today's contributors will then be generated by future generations.

That is why one also speaks of the intergenerational contract.

2. "The pension system is finished."

"That is very unlikely," said



The pension system with its around 77 million insured persons and pensioners is not on the verge of collapse.

On the contrary: the pay-as-you-go system even provides reliable protection against unforeseeable developments on the capital markets - neither the financial crisis nor the corona pandemic have caused the system any lasting problems.

High unemployment and the aging population are unfavorable for the pay-as-you-go system.

Politicians could counter this with adjustments in a wide variety of places - for example by raising the retirement age or expanding the group of insured persons to include civil servants and the self-employed.

State subsidies provided by the federal government, on the other hand, are not intended to subsidize pension insurance, according to the German Pension Insurance Association (DRV).

This only reimburses a large part of the costs of so-called non-contribution-covered services that the DRV provides for the federal government without having received contributions for them.

Such benefits, such as the consideration of non-contributory child-rearing periods, would be financed from taxes because they would not only benefit those insured in the pension insurance, but the general public.

3. "If I work in the east, I get less pension."

“On the contrary,” reports the DRV.

"Employees in the East get more pension for the same salary than workers in the West." At least still.

Because by the end of 2024, eastern salaries will be upgraded with a conversion factor, which will lead to a slightly higher pension for the same income.

By July 2024, however, the pension values ​​of East and West should be aligned.

Due to the forthcoming pension increase, which is somewhat larger in the east than in the west, this goal will now be reached a year earlier.

4. "Whether I get an East or West pension depends on where I live."

That's not true, says



Whether insured persons receive an East, West or mixed pension does not depend on their place of residence, but on their respective places of employment.

Those who have worked in both the old and the new federal states, their pension is calculated from the partial values ​​​​of east and west, according to the financial test.

Subsequent increases in pensions are also proportionately based on periods of employment in East and West.

5. "The pension keeps falling."

"Individual pensions are not falling, they are actually rising," reports the German pension insurance association.

According to a forecast by the federal government in the current pension insurance report, pensions will increase by a good 43 percent by 2036.

The reason: the pensions follow the wage development.

As wages rise, so do pensions.

When wages fall, a statutory pension guarantee takes effect, preventing pensions from falling.

Pensions in East and West will only be raised again on July 1 - by 5.86 and 4.39 percent respectively.

But: The proportion of the taxable pension increases continuously.

For example, if you retire in 2023, you only pay taxes on 83 percent of your pension, according to the United Income Tax Assistance Association.

By 2040, this proportion will rise to 100 percent.

Only those whose pension is lower than the basic allowance of currently 10,908 euros per year remain exempt from tax.

For married couples, the basic allowance doubles, according to the DRV.

6. "The pension will be automatically transferred from the moment you retire."

That too is a misconception.

With the exception of the basic pension surcharge, all benefits from the pension insurance system would have to be applied for, the DRV announced.

And the insured should not wait until the last minute.

The DRV recommends submitting the pension application three months before you plan to retire.

7. "If I've paid 45 years, I can retire at 63 with no deductions."

At least that's not always true, according to the DRV.

Anyone who has paid contributions for 45 years is in principle entitled to the old-age pension for particularly long-term insured persons without deductions - but only after the relevant age limit has been reached.

Depending on the year of birth, this is between 63 and 65 years.

8. "If I retire early, the deductions will end when I reach the regular retirement age."


Those who retire before reaching the regular retirement age lose 0.3 percent of their pension for each month.

"These deductions remain in place even after the standard pension period has been reached," says the DRV website.

9. "The last few years of employment before retirement are particularly important."

You can't say that in general.

The amount of the pension depends on the entire insurance life, not on the payments made in the last few years of work.

But: For most insured persons, the salaries increase in the course of their working life, so in the years before retirement they are often much higher than, for example, when starting a career.

The increase in pensions is therefore particularly large in these years.

10. "Only wives are entitled to a survivor's pension."

That's not true.

According to the DRV, both women and men are entitled to a survivor's pension.

The prerequisite is that the deceased spouse paid pension contributions for at least five years.


List of rubrics: © Patrick Pleul/dpa

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-03-23

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