MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs The German Bundestag today passed the law to improve transparency in old-age insurance and rehabilitation, as well as to modernize the social security elections. A massive increase in subsidies for the contribution to the old-age provision of farmers was also decided. The regulations in detail. Digital pension overview With the digital pension overview, the government is implementing a project of the coalition agreement. In future, citizens should be able to access bundled information about their statutory, company and private old-age insurance on an internet-based portal. To implement this, a ‘Central Office for Digital Pension Insurance’ will be created at Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund. The providers of statutory, company and private old-age insurance as well as experts in consumer protection are involved in order to further advance the project together with the Federal Ministry of Finance. In a first step, the digital pension overview will be started as a model project, it should be generally available from 2023. Increase in contribution subsidies for old-age provision for farmers This is intended to relieve entrepreneurs of small and medium-sized agricultural businesses financially from 1 April 2021 in their old-age provision. So far, these farms are affected by the unit contribution to be paid by all farmers much more heavily than larger farms. What is new is that the previous income limits for entitlement to a contribution subsidy are currently being raised from 15,500 euros or 31,000 euros for married couples to 60 percent of the reference figure in social insurance, and are thus made dynamic. In 2021, the income limit is 23,680 euros or 47,360 euros for married people. In addition, entrepreneurs who earn an annual income of 30 percent of the reference figure – that would be 11,844 euros in 2021 – will receive the highest grant of 60 percent of the contribution. So far this limit was 8,220 euros. The income limit for the contribution subsidy has not been changed since 1999. In the past few years this has led to fewer and fewer entrepreneurs who are entitled to a contribution subsidy and who benefit from this financial relief. At the same time, it was politically desirable to take the pressure off farmers on lower incomes. The new regulation will take this issue into account much better in the future. Social security elections modernized! On November 19, 2020, the German Bundestag passed the law to improve transparency in old-age insurance and rehabilitation as well as to modernize social security elections. The law improves the framework conditions for volunteer members of the self-governing bodies of the statutory health insurances as well as the pension and accident insurance institutions by introducing an express right to exemption for participation in the meetings as well as a new right to further training. Access to the lists of proposals for the committees and elections is made easier. The new obligation to document the list preparation process ensures greater transparency for employers and insured persons. In order to increase the proportion of women in the representative assemblies and boards of the pension and accident insurance institutions, women are to be considered at least 40 percent when drawing up a list of suggestions. This quota already applies in the relevant bodies of the health insurance companies. In addition, the Federal Electoral Commissioner will in future provide information on the work of the self-governing bodies in order to better inform the public and increase voter participation. The law will modernize the social security elections and strengthen the self-administration of the social security agencies. Statement by the federal election officer for the social security elections: Rita Pawelski, the federal election officer for the social security elections, welcomes the modernization of the social security elections by the German Bundestag:
It was a long way, and finally we have reached our goal: the modernization of the social security elections has been decided by the Bundestag. We are happy about the reform and thank everyone who has supported us. This is a great success for us, also for us federal election officers. In 2018 we published a 10 point catalog with suggestions for the necessary further development of the social electoral law. Almost all demands can be found in the reform that has been decided. We expect that more primary elections will take place in the next social elections in 2023, that overall transparency will increase and that more women will join the self-government bodies.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.