GERMANY – Germany’s labour minister and vice chancellor, Franz Müntefering, announced that state pensions would be increased by 0.54% from July 1.
Speaking on German TV, Müntefering said it would cost the state approximately €1.2bn to fund the increase for the country’s 20 million pensioners.
Germany’s pension payouts have remained frozen for three years, due to high unemployment and poor economic performance. However, last year saw the first signs of improvement.
Müntefering stressed that finding work for Germany’s numerous unemployed was the priority and would lead to pensions rising further. Some 1.2 million people over the age of 50 are out of work in Germany.
Earlier this month, union members within the German Federation (DGB) felt moved to protest when a law was passed by the lower house raising the retirement age from 65 to 67.
If passed by the upper house, the retirement age will gradually rise from 2012 until it reaches the new agreed level in 2029.