The Eastern Commissioner for the left-wing faction in the Bundestag, Sören Pellmann, has severely criticized the hardship fund for needy pensioners in East Germany decided by the federal government and described it as far too small.

Sören Pellmann, the East German commissioner for the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, feels that the hardship fund for needy pensioners in East Germany decided by the federal government is far too little. “The planned hardship fund is a humiliation for hundreds of thousands of East German pensioners and alms for a few poor people,” Pellmann told the editorial network Germany (RND).

In his criticism, he refers to a response from the Federal Ministry of Labor to a request from the left, according to which around 50,000 to 70,000 people from the “East-West pension transition cases” category will benefit from the hardship fund. The answer of the federal government is available to the RND. This refers to those affected whose pension entitlements were not taken into account when the GDR pension system was transferred to the West German model in 1991. You can now count on a one-time payment of 2,500 euros.

Those affected include former employees of the Reichsbahn, the post office or women who divorced during the GDR era and who have been fighting for years to have their claims recognized. Instead of 50,000, Pellmann assumes 500,000 beneficiaries and bases this on information from organizations affected, such as the association “Runder Tisch Rentensrechtigkeit”.

“Around 90 percent of those entitled to claim will get nothing,” said Pellmann and also criticized that it was wrong to “throw Eastern pensioners, Jewish immigrants and late resettlers in one pot”. Groups would be played off against each other. According to the Federal Government, not only needy pensioners in East Germany but also Jewish quota refugees and late resettlers can count on a one-off payment. According to the information, it is about all those who have a very low pension “close to the basic security” – a total of 180,000 to 190,000 people.