Compulsory parental insurance for the self-employed is a matter for all of us: Leyens Errors
Although not all details of the proposed law are clear yet, there has been fierce opposition: the online petition against the law has been signed more than 75000 times to date. No wonder: Von Leyen's argumentation is full of contradictions and errors.
Cabaret artist Volker Pispers puts it in a nutshell: The German pension system would work wonderfully, if only all would participate equally. Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen apparently thought so too and now wants to get the self-employed on board. Meanwhile, the online petition against the compulsory pension was drawn far more than 50.000 times, which now allows a public consultation in the petition committee of the German Bundestag. 7 facts on the topic.
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What are the plans for pension insurance?
Already in February I had reported (and recorded) a live event, on the minister of the Leyen announced her plans, a compulsory pension insurance for all: Self-employed. This is, depending on the age 250 Euro and more a month.
Overall, there are contradictory details about the exact design of the plans: For example, ZEIT ONLINE citing the Berlin newspaper as saying that the regulation should apply to all self-employed persons under 30, whereas for the self-employed 30 and 50 years weakened rules are planned. It is not affected by 50.
Exceptions to the insurance obligation
Also excluded are the self-employed, who earn less than 400 Euro per month - as well as doctors, lawyers, architects who are insured in occupational benefit schemes and members of the artists' social fund.
Deskmag, on the other hand, writes of at least 350 euros, while older people should pay more. It is possible that the exact design is not yet completely clear, and that is precisely why the minister brought McKinsey's advisors on board for 1 million euros.
7 facts on pension insurance: study for 1 million euros and diet increase
They should, she writes Süddeutscheto create a so-called feasibility study. The consultants should check how the new pension obligation can be implemented technically and with as little bureaucratic and financial expenditure as possible. Until the end of June.
In view of the fact that Leyen's main argument for the introduction of compulsory pension insurance for self-employed people is that they should not be on the pocket of the general public, this makes as little impression as the cabinet's planned increase in diet. And otherwise, their reasoning is a little contradictory, let's say. An overview of 7 claims and the facts.
Note: This text originally appeared on Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® as a contribution to compulsory pension insurance for the self-employed, which received almost 400 likes on Facebook got. In cooperation with Karsten Wenzlaff from the Institute of Communication in Social Media, I have now supplemented the article a little and focused on the errors of Frau von der Leyen. The corresponding article has now been published on ikosom and CARTA and is now also the title post and the most-read article due to 19 comments in just one day.
Claim 1: Self-employed can not provide for themselves
One of Leyen's main arguments in favor of compulsory pension insurance is that the self-employed can generally not take care of themselves - and therefore obviously have to be patronized like underage children. In the Wirtschaftswoche, the Minister of Labor revealed how little she actually believes in tomorrow's innovators and job creators - and says a lot about Germany as a business and start-up location!
"They'll ask: Why are you forcing me? At some point I will make big money, then it will be enough. However, life experience shows that this poker game goes too often. Free riders at the expense of the general public must not exist. ”
The fact is: the Minister of Labor contradicts herself!
At a UDL talk in February 2012, she was asked what she thought was to involve the employers in the cost of precaution. And admitted:
“The idea that you involve employers is basically right at first. It is only typical for the self-employed that he has no employer. ”
The self-employed are charged with the sole responsibility for their own provision. It's as if you do not trust children to be able to eat alone but then expect them to set the table. This is different for example in the artist social insurance, in which the clients are jointly responsible for contributions. The Minister has to decide: Are the self-employed now responsible and can they make their own pension decisions accordingly? Or are they not and therefore need the support of the clients and the state in the provision?
Claim 2: It is typical for the self-employed that he has no employer
The minister asserts (see the above quotation) that self-employed persons do not have employers.
The fact is: The Minister ignores the situation of the self-employed workers!
In Germany, many people work, who, like self-employed, are socially insured, but in fact, just like employees, they work for just one principal. An example are lump-sum lists in many newspaper editors. Many of these employee-like self-employed people do not feel and behave like autonomous entrepreneurs who, for example, can freely negotiate their fees, but like second-class employees with lower qualifications. Newspaper librarians, for example, are even denied access to artists' social insurance - and precisely with the argument that they are not really self-employed!
This is because there are no social insurance costs for the employer - the self-employed are self-supporting.
With the client's participation in the social security contributions, the minister would now have the opportunity to make this model unattractive for employers. Even more people could be hired if the incentive to outsource disappear. Incidentally, the Verdi trade union, in which 30.000 solo self-employed are organized, has been advocating such uniform compulsory insurance for all employees for years.
Claim 3: Forced-to-run traffic is a burden on the general public
Ursula von der Leyen wants to prevent (see quotation above) that the self-employed do not release themselves from the social systems for years, but in the end, if their business idea fails, they fall back into the “social hammock” as free-riders.
The fact is that the pension insurance obligation exacerbates the situation of the self-employed only - and there are already examples!
The idea of doing something for the general public may be right in the approach, a forcible insurance is the wrong way. Ms von der Leyen could thus personally persuade herself, as it were, of the living object: freelance educators and other professional groups have been obliged to transfer 19,6 percent of their profits to Deutsche Rentenversicherung for several years. This does not make them any better. On the contrary, the additional burden often leads to the fact that those affected either do not report to the German pension insurance company in the hope of not being discovered - and thus violate applicable law. Or that they can improve their bargain fees between unemployment benefit II. Both undoubtedly at the expense of the public.
Instead of dealing with such real existing cases, the Minister of Labor would rather commission the McKinsey management consultancy for one million euros to create a feasibility study on how the new pension obligation can be implemented technically and with as little bureaucratic and financial expenditure as possible. And the federal cabinet is planning a diet increase.
Claim 4: The Federal Government wants to promote innovation and make Germany attractive for foreign companies
The Federal Government repeatedly emphasizes the importance of innovations for Germany as a business location. As a representative, we would like to refer to the initiative “Germany - Land of Ideas”, with the Federal Government and German industry, with which the strengths of Germany as a business and science location should be made visible at home and abroad. The following self-image is designed on the website:
"Germans and people all over the world say: “Land of ideas”, that fits Germany. Poets and thinkers, technicians and inventors, Made in Germany: that's us. Germany's strengths, its people and its innovative strength are aptly described with the term 'idea'. ”
The fact is that compulsory pension insurance prevents innovation and ultimately makes Germany unattractive for foreign start ups!
Tim Wessels, IT entrepreneur and initiator of the online petition, complains in the interview with now the innovative hostility of the compulsory pension insurance:
"I think that fewer companies are founded and that a lot of ideas are simply not tried out. Politicians like to complain that too little is tried out in Germany and that, for example, the vast majority of successful start-ups in the web area come from the USA. If such laws are made in this country, you shouldn't be surprised. ”
In fact, the German founding culture is rather badly ordered: The Financial Times reports that the number of new companies 2012 is likely to fall to a record low of 400.000. The M Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), which compares the founding conditions in 50 countries every year, regularly assigns Germany one of the rear seats in terms of the overall social founding conditions. One reason: a good 50 percent of those polled in Germany would rather not just start out of fear.
In such a climate, we can look forward to the startup like the Swedish Soundcloud Berlin as a location and create jobs here. But even for such companies, Germany is becoming increasingly unattractive. For foreign employees, even if they work as a seasonal worker in Germany for a short time, are subject to pension insurance, but the contributions may be reimbursed later. If this obligation is also extended to foreign entrepreneurs, the StartUps like Soundcloud would rather deter.
Claim 5: Compulsory insurance is intended to close gaps in equity
Federal Minister of Labor Ursula von der Leyen wants a more equitable social insurance for all. According to Süddeutsche Newspaper she said:
"We have a mandate to address gaps in justice that lead to poverty in the long term in the long run. ”
The fact is that compulsory provision opens up new gaps in justice because it prefers or disadvantages individual groups!
According to a key point paper from the Ministry of Labor with the title: “For a pension obligation for self-employed persons”, the self-employed will apparently at least have the wah in the futurel: interstate and private provision. The insurance claims may only be non-inheritable, transferable, borrowable, sellable or capitalizable. Other professional groups, such as freelance educators, were not so lucky at the time: although you also had the option of interstate or private retirement, but only if you were in front of the 30. September 2001 were self-employed and were already able to provide a retirement pension. All others were compulsorily insured by the state. Or does this model flourish for all other self-employed persons?
Equally unjust is the way the social insurance contributions are calculated by the self-employed. The compulsory annuity insurance covers the calculation of, for example, flat-rate amounts; in the case of statutory health insurance, a relevant minimum income of more than 1000 Euro per month, according to which the amount of the contributions is calculated. This leads to the absurd situation that the self-employed will come to several hundred euros social insurance contributions per month, even with low earnings. The members of the social insurance scheme are exempt: they can easily estimate the income according to which the social contributions are calculated.
Conclusion: The social insurance for self-employed affects all and is urgently in need of reform
We are in the middle of a fundamental change in our society: classical occupational biographies like we know them are becoming increasingly rare, phases in which there is a change in focus, unemployment and independence, are already the rule for many people. This is precisely why the problem affects not only a small marginal group, but all of us.
For the German social security system is far from being set up for this fragile employment biography - even though this problem was recognized more than 10 years ago, among other things by the trade union Education and Science (S.27). The normal case is still the permanent position, everything that is outside of this standard, prepares politics and bureaucracy headache - as you can see on Mrs. von der Leyen's half-baked thrust quite clearly.
What we urgently need is a survey of the social insurance situation of the self-employed in Germany, which shows where the policy must begin to really improve their situation. Rapid firing, with which individuals are strongly favored or disadvantaged, worsen the already unfair situation additionally and also endanger the economic location of Germany.
What we need is a fundamental reform of the social security system, no "doctoring around" in individual professional groups!
After all, that the self-employed pension insurance obligation does not quite taste, has arrived at the Ministry of Labor. Ursula von der Leyen responded in a video message. And she has today, at the 11. June 2012, Tim Wessels invited to a meeting on the situation of self-employed. Wessels had initiated an e-petition, in which in a short time far more than the required 50.000 signatures had come together.
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This post was viewed almost 400 times on Facebook passed on - despite the complex topic. Good thing and many thanks to my readers. Because: The discussion is far from over!
Success of the online petition
When Deskmag last week announced good cheer that the online petition against the pensions insurance plans of the Federal Employment Minister had found the necessary 50.000 signatories, some may have thought that you can now sit back and relax.
And I admit, I was also in response to mine Article Skeptical: Because an overview of the subject of social insurance in Germany is extremely complicated and the matter is difficult or hardly understandable.
Thanks for almost 400 Likes in 2 days
So I'm all the more pleased that over the past weekend alone, a good 400 readers read the article not only via Facebook but mostly clicked on it and dealt with the complex matter. And more are added every hour!
And what's more: Dozens of other readers listened to the live event, at which Ursula von der Leyen announced her pension insurance plans in February, again as an interview and also listened to this article 184 times via Twitter and Facebook passed on.
Motivation for my work: readers want accurate information!
This is a great example of how important it is to have the same topic on a blog (and something like that is only on the blog and not on Facebook possible!) to be followed for a longer period and to illuminate different facets.
And for me it is proof that readers also value well-founded texts, detailed research and this accuracy in the representation of the facts - including O-tones. And not, as many colleagues think, only superficial Wischi-Waschi prefer. The readers want to get an idea of themselves!
And for me personally this is a great motivation to continue with my work: Thanks to my readers!
Please discuss: What does a good and equitable social insurance look like?
Finally, the petition now has 70.000 supporters. This shows that the discussion about better and fairer social insurance must and will continue, and we should also deal with the issue of how good and fair social insurance for the self-employed could really look.
Therefore, I will post on this topic also other articles in which I make the topic even tighter, and ensure a corresponding media distribution. In this sense: carry on - the topic concerns us all!
Is Frau von der Leyen reasonable?
Unfortunately, that does not mean that Ursula von der Leyen has become sensible by now: she keeps much more attached to her plans - after all, she also believes that she is doing something good for the people and protecting us all from the threat of old-age poverty.
Personally, I also find their video message credible - too nice and neatly sounded out of ears the appearance seems to me. And too little personal conviction. It is therefore to be feared that the conversation will not be a dialogue but rather an attempt to re-vote Wessels - this is also shown by earlier discussions with petitioners.
Carsten Foertsch did a critical fact check in a really worth reading article on Deskmag von der Leyen's views. His conclusion is the hope for a fair pension insurance with equal rights and obligations for everyone. And that a reform that discriminates against the self-employed even more than any other professional group in Germany is undesirable. For example, Förtsch's text deals with the real intentions of our Minister of Labor:
Pensions insurance: justice for all?
First and foremost, Mrs. von der Leyen does not want to secure the self-employed in old age with the reform, but simply earn more money […] Many self-employed people are already paying for old-age provision. However, for others, such as civil servants or politicians, who pay 0% of their income for their pension and later one minimum pension received from 1300 euros, these amounts are usually much higher. For this, these people will not be included in a compulsory pension in the future […]
Conflict of interests in favor of the German insurance industry?
Unfortunately, the results of the Stiftung Warentest conclude that all types of insurance are only worthwhile to a limited extent. Life insurance policies do not provide retirement benefits because the rate of return is below the annual inflation rate. Self-employed people who opt for a Rürup pension only pay off for high earners without fluctuating income, i.e. those who are hardly affected by the compulsory pension [...] Incidentally, Rürup is the one who runs a company with Maschmeyer today. Maschmeyer, on the other hand, is an old colleague of Ms. von der Leyen's, even if we don't want to use it to indicate any conflicts of interest in her plans in favor of the German insurance industry.
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