Number of pensioners in poverty on the rise in Germany

Number of pensioners in poverty on the rise in Germany

The aim of the pension system in Germany is to ensure that anyone who has spent a good portion of their life working can draw upon decent pension benefits when they retire. But according to a new report, for a rising number of people, the old-age pension is not enough to live on. 

628.000 pensioners in Germany drawing basic subsistence benefits

A growing number of pensioners in Germany are being forced to rely on basic subsistence benefits, as well as their pension, to maintain an adequate standard of living, according to a report in the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). 

Using figures from the Federal Statistical Office, the RND reported that in June 2022 almost 628.000 people of retirement age were receiving income support from the German social security system, an increase of around 51.000 compared to June 2021. 

“Poverty in old age is increasing”

The Left party, which requested the numbers, said that the figures were a damning indictment of the country’s inadequate pension system, and called for a major reform of the basic pension scheme to ensure that everyone receives a minimum of 1.200 euros per month. “Poverty in old age is increasing and increasing,” the leader of the Left in the Bundestag, Dietmar Bartsch, is quoted as saying by ARD

The party further called on the traffic light government to provide additional support for pensioners this winter, for instance by increasing the 300-euro allowance promised to them. “We need a protective shield against poverty in old age,” Bartsch said. “The prices for electricity and gas must be capped before winter, not afterwards.” 

The federal government had planned to start capping energy prices from March next year, and in the meantime will step in in December to cover people’s energy bills for one month. This week, however, Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck told Handelsblatt that he would like to begin the cap earlier than previously announced, perhaps as soon as January. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

Read more



Leave a comment