Economists regularly call for a pension from the age of 70. This is the only way to stabilize the pension system in the long term, they say. We asked experts and the federal government for their opinion.

“The retirement age must rise”. With these words, the economic researcher Gunther Schnabl recently caused a great public stir. His reasoning: Prices are rising and hundreds of thousands of jobs are unfilled. With the retirement of the baby boomer generation, the shortage of skilled workers will also worsen.

At the same time, according to a model calculation in the 2021 pension insurance report, the level of security before taxes for the statutory pension will fall significantly. Despite an increase in the contribution rate to 22.4 percent, the level of security in 2035 should only be 45.8 percent – and thus less than the limit line of 48 percent guaranteed by law until 2025. The security level before tax describes the percentage of the average pre-tax net monthly income that a pensioner who has paid into the state pension insurance for 45 years receives.

So how realistic is it that workers will have to work until they are 70? FOCUS Online has asked experts and the federal government for an opinion.

“It amounts to a retirement age of 68 to 69 years,” explains Bernd Raffelhüschen, professor of finance and expert on intergenerational contracts at the University of Freiburg, when asked.

Axel Börsch-Supan, professor at the Technical University of Munich and member of the Max Planck Society, on the other hand, considers a retirement age of 70 to be “nonsense”. He advocates initially continuing the plan with a pension at 67. If life expectancy continues to increase, the formula “live longer for every year, retire 4 months later” should be used.

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Emeritus professor and poverty researcher Christoph Butterwegge also considers an increase in the standard retirement age to be extremely difficult: “Increasing the statutory retirement age is problematic because it increases poverty in old age. Because many people cannot work that long due to health problems, they have to retire beforehand and accept deductions of 3.6 percent per year until they die.”

At the same time, he warns that a pension at 70 even means a relapse into the German Empire: “In 1916, the retirement age was lowered from 70 to 65 years. As everyone knows, today our society is much richer than it was then. If, despite this, it relapses into the Kaiserreich’s pension law, it will be a sign of failure for our welfare state. Older people must be paid for their life’s work and be able to live in dignity. It is not compatible with the fact that they are punished with deductions from their pension after decades of work.”

A government spokesman told FOCUS Online that “the question of retiring at 70” does not currently arise. The retirement age is already being gradually raised to 67. An increase in the contribution rate is also out of the question: “The stop line of 48 percent is legal by 2025 The federal government is currently preparing a pension package II, which is intended to keep the pension level stable at 48 percent beyond 2025.”

The inflation rate in Germany is higher than it has been for 40 years. FOCUS Online therefore asks: your everyday life consists only of savings? You really have to spend every penny and are constantly looking for ways to make a living cheaper? We want to tell your story. Please write to us at mein-bericht@focus.de. Please briefly describe your situation to us in an e-mail and also tell us when we could contact you by phone in the next few days. Thanks very much!

The Federal Ministry of Social Affairs also gives a clear answer to the question of retirement at 70: By 2031, the retirement age will rise faster than life expectancy will increase according to scientific model calculations, according to the Federal Ministry in response to a FOCUS Online request. A spokeswoman specifies: “It is correct that, according to the model calculations of the 2021 pension insurance report, the level of protection before taxes will fall below the 48 percent mark in the long term. According to the coalition agreement, however, the statutory pension is to be strengthened and the minimum pension level of 48 percent is to be permanently secured.