GERMANY - The German state pension is set to rise this year, for the first time since 2006.
The Ministry for Social and Labour Affairs said over 20 million German citizens would benefit from the rise, which was partially intended to spur domestic spending in light of the recession.
Pensioners in the 10 former West German states will receive a 2.41% increase, while those in the six former East German states will receive 3.38%.
Both levels of increase are based on wage rises in the regions during last year.
Federal minister for social and labour affairs Olaf Scholz, said: "This is good news for more than 20 million pensioners and pensioners in Germany and a beautiful testament to the power of our social market economy."
He added; "Pensions are not a benefit, but the reward for hard work."
Unemployment benefits are also set to rise slightly to €359 from €351 at the same time.
Last year, a report by the labour ministry showed the state pension system posted a €16bn surplus as a result of increased revenue contributions thanks to the "stable economy" - an increase of almost €12bn compared to 2007.
The labour ministry report also showed that senior citizens in Germany were generally well supplied and said statutory pension insurance remained the most important aspect of the pension system, with the average retired couple receiving a net total income of €2,271 per month for in 2007, when state and occupational / private pension income was taken into account (Globalpensions.com ; 20 November 2008).
Germany is due to vote in national general elections in September, and will elect a new president in May.
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