In retirement, high taxes can be incurred on the salary, as a pensioner from Lower Saxony had to discover: On his income, 19,000 euros in taxes were due.
Nienburg/Lower Saxony – Karl-Heinz M. worked in various positions in construction for more than 50 years. "Building something with your hands and then seeing the result is just fun," the 69-year-old told the Bild newspaper: Since 2021, he has been receiving a monthly pension of 2000 euros. When a construction company offered him a job to oversee a housing project in Hamburg, he didn't hesitate for long. Just three months after retiring, he was back at work.
Shock for pensioners: 19,000 euros in taxes due to work in retirement
When the construction project was finished, the shock came: his work in construction counts as a second job, the pension is the first job. Because of this, he had to pay around 53 percent tax on his gross salary of 000,35 euros. A total of 19,000 euros went to the state, reports Bild. "I don't want to complain, but one thing is clear: I'm not going to bend my back for that anymore! If you work as a pensioner, you are the stupid one," the pensioner told the daily.
Many pensioners supplement their income with an additional job in old age. (Symbolic image) © Imago/Shotshop/Monkey Business
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The majority of pensioners work in mini-jobs
Many pensioners in Germany could feel the same way as Karl-Heinz M., because: "Older people are already significantly more likely to be employed than ten years ago: In 2021, around 12 percent of 65- to under-75-year-olds worked. Ten years earlier, the figure was 7 percent," the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced last year. For a large proportion of workers in this age group, earnings were "the predominant source of livelihood" alongside pensions. In this way, pensioners could "counteract the threat of poverty in old age, improve their standard of living or actively participate in social life for longer," according to Destatis.
According to the Bild report, Karl-Heinz M. decided in the end to take on a mini-job. So he works tax-free, once a week in a small construction company. The pensioner from Lower Saxony is not alone in this either: in 2021, 1.05 million employees in Germany were 67 years or older. "Of these, 217,000 people were employed subject to social security contributions and 835,000 had a mini-job," tageschau.de reported.