This proposal triggers discussions: should the widow’s pension be replaced by a pension split? Several politicians are against it.

Numerous politicians from different camps and parties have sharply criticized economist Monika Schnitzer’s proposal to reconsider the widow’s pension in its current form. The parliamentary manager of the Union faction in the Bundestag, Thorsten Frei, spoke of a “frontal attack on families”.

Frei said to the “Bild” newspaper: “I have the impression that this is not about strengthening the business location, but about the implementation of abstruse socio-political ideas.”

FDP politician Wolfgang Kubicki also doesn’t think much of the move: “The idea of ​​abolishing the widow’s pension unsettles millions of older couples whose life planning was based on the promise of this old-age security,” he criticized in the “Bild” newspaper.

Pension splitting instead of classic widow’s pension

Schnitzer advocates rethinking the current regulation of widows’ pensions. She is currently reducing the incentives to start her own job, she told the news magazine “Spiegel”. “In addition, single contributors help fund pension entitlements for non-working partners who do not contribute to the scheme themselves.”

Her suggestion: The previously optional applicable pension splitting should become mandatory. The pension entitlements that spouses or registered partners have acquired during the marriage are divided equally between the partners. The partner with the higher claims gives part of it to the other – until the statutory pension entitlements are the same. Read here what exactly that means for you.

According to other experts, the proposal makes perfect sense from an economic perspective. The President of the German Institute for Economic Research, Marcel Fratzscher, considers replacing the widow’s pension with pension splitting to be “reasonable and correct”.

Söder: “We reject that”

However, this should only be the “last” step. “The reform of spouse splitting and the end of non-contributory co-insurance must come first, because the state cannot provide incentives for women to work little or not at all while they are working, and then punish them in their pensions.”

Politically, however, a change in the widow’s pension would be difficult to convey – even if it only came into effect for future generations and current recipients of survivor’s pensions were not affected. This in turn explains the resistance of numerous politicians.

The Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder also recently commented on the idea. On Twitter he wrote: “Abolishing the widow’s pension is wrong. We reject that.”

It is not the first time that Schnitzer has triggered a broad debate with a proposal. Just under a week ago, she caused a stir when she declared that Germany needed 1.5 million immigrants a year to combat the shortage of skilled workers.

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