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Florian Blank / Johannes Geyer, Peter Haan, Maximilian Schaller / Jochen Pimpertz / Reinhold Thiede / Martin Werding IW-Trends No. 2 6. July 2022 A Variable Retirement Age for Varying Life Expectancies?: Should the State Pension Scheme Take Different Socio-demographic Backgrounds into Account?

While German law stipulates a standard retirement age for all members of the public pension scheme, empirical studies have shown that life expectancy is unevenly distributed within the population, varying according to income level, professional status, occupational health risks, and gender.

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Should the State Pension Scheme Take Different Socio-demographic Backgrounds into Account?
Florian Blank / Johannes Geyer, Peter Haan, Maximilian Schaller / Jochen Pimpertz / Reinhold Thiede / Martin Werding IW-Trends No. 2 6. July 2022

A Variable Retirement Age for Varying Life Expectancies?: Should the State Pension Scheme Take Different Socio-demographic Backgrounds into Account?

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German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

While German law stipulates a standard retirement age for all members of the public pension scheme, empirical studies have shown that life expectancy is unevenly distributed within the population, varying according to income level, professional status, occupational health risks, and gender.

It can thus be assumed that these same factors influence the length of time retirees draw their pension. In the public debate, this phenomenon, which can lead to regressive distribution effects rendered even stronger by the recent raising of the pensionable age to 67, is often criticised as unjust. Indeed, it could be regarded as justifying demands to base the retirement age or benefit reductions for early retirement on the socio-demographic background of the insured. In our forum, Prof. Peter Haan, Dr. Johannes Geyer and Maximilian Schaller of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW, Berlin), Prof. Martin Werding of the Ruhr University of Bochum, Dr. Reinhold Thiede of the German Statutory Pension Insurance National Office, Dr. Florian Blank of the Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI, Düsseldorf) and Dr. Jochen Pimpertz of the German Economic Institute (IW, Cologne) discuss whether variations in life expectancy should be taken into account in pension legislation, how this could be achieved, what the consequences would be, and what alternative solutions could conceivably take account of the different employment biographies and preferences of those entering retirement.

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Should the State Pension Scheme Take Different Socio-demographic Backgrounds into Account?
Florian Blank / Johannes Geyer, Peter Haan, Maximilian Schaller / Jochen Pimpertz / Reinhold Thiede / Martin Werding IW-Trends No. 2 6. July 2022

A Variable Retirement Age for Varying Life Expectancies?: Should the State Pension Scheme Take Different Socio-demographic Backgrounds into Account?

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German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

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Determinants and Normative Implications
Ruth Maria Schüler IW-Trends No. 1 9. March 2022

Pension Concerns in Germany: Determinants and Normative Implications

The level of statutory pensions for future generations is set to decline systematically. If future retirees are to maintain their standard of living, they will therefore need to supplement their statutory benefits with private and occupational pensions – a ...

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Martin Beznoska / Jochen Pimpertz / Maximilian Stockhausen IW-Analyse No. 143 13. July 2021

Would universal health insurance lead to more solidarity?

The principle behind Germany’s statutory health insurance (SHI) system, into which all employees up to a certain income threshold are obliged to pay a per¬centage of their earnings, is one of solidarity.

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