Discounts on fuel tax and train tickets, more net salary, one-time bonuses for children and energy costs, elimination of the tax on renewable energies and relief in tax returns – the federal government wants to use these measures to relieve the burden on people in Germany. But how much of that really counts? Experts did the math.
The digital asset manager growney has determined exclusively for FOCUS Online how much the relief package can actually bring.
This shows that families with children benefit the most, the self-employed and singles are relieved far less. If the pension increase on July 1st is included, pensioners also have more money in their wallets.
For a family with 2 children, the relief can amount to more than 1300 euros (employees, together 8000 euros gross salary per month and 30 km one way to work, petrol engine). But an East German pensioner couple also benefits with almost 1100 euros (pensioners since 2020, together 3000 euros gross, petrol engine with 20,000 km/year). For comparison: A comparable couple of pensioners in the west has around 100 euros less because the pension increase is lower here.
The one-off payments for the energy bonus and children show the strongest effect, as calculated by growney experts. The effect on the monthly net wage (by increasing the basic allowance) is rather small – it is between ten euros per month for singles and more than 25 euros for very well-earning couples.
But: Since the change applies retrospectively from the beginning of the year, employers should be able to correct the payslips retrospectively. According to the Ministry of Finance, this should happen if it is “economically reasonable”. If the pay slips are not corrected, employees will benefit with the income tax return for 2022 – i.e. only in the coming year. The increased income-related expenses and long-distance commuter allowance only then become noticeable. Although pensioners do not benefit from the one-off payments, they will receive significantly more monthly payments from July due to the pension increase.
“The calculations show that the relief package will make itself felt,” says Thimm Blickensdorf from the management of the digital asset manager growney. At the same time, however, he points out: “In the current economic situation, an unwanted side effect is possible: more purchasing power in the market could further fuel inflation.” In this context, experts speak of the wage-price spiral as the driver of inflation.
The effect of the relief package for the self-employed is the smallest. A self-employed single person (EUR 3,000/month, rail traveler, no children) only benefits with a total of EUR 475. For an employee with the same earnings, it is at least 550 euros. A recipient of unemployment benefit II (“Hartz IV”) benefits with more than 780 euros (single, 2 children, public transport) – but the effect is mainly due to one-off payments and an increase in the child allowance.
However, the package of measures does not address a main problem of inflation: the drastically falling purchasing power of savings for which there is no interest or even negative interest is due. According to the Bundesbank, this affects assets of around 2.9 trillion euros – and thus a large part of the assets in Germany. “Many people leave possible alternatives such as a globally diversified investment with ETFs unused, although experts such as Stiftung Warentest expressly recommend it,” explains Blickensdorf from growney. In recent years, an average return of more than seven percent per year has been achieved, even including difficult market phases such as the financial or corona crisis. The simple thought behind this: if the investment outperforms the price increase, investors avoid the effects of inflation.
growney’s calculation includes all relevant taxes except church tax. Also included are the surcharge for long-term care insurance for childless people over the age of 23, the flat-rate income-related expenses (or commuter flat-rate if higher), electricity consumption depending on the size of the household, petrol or diesel consumption and the average costs for public transport (children excluded). Statutory health insurance and a basic pension (Rürup) at 18.6% of income were assumed for the self-employed.
The FOCUS Online Guide answers all important questions about pensions on 135 pages. Plus 65 pages of forms.