WHU General

Expert Hearing on Employment Insurance

Professor Dr. Christian Hagist gives his assessment to the Bundestag committee

On January 25, 2021, the German Bundestag's Labor and Social Affairs Committee will hear experts on the proposal to include members of the Bundestag in the statutory pension insurance scheme. This is seen as the first step towards a so-called employment insurance which is planned to insure all citizens alike. Professor Dr. Christian Hagist, Chair of Economic and Social Policy at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, has been invited to the hearing before the members of the committee as an expert. His analysis of the reform proposal is clear: "Our pension system has grown historically and therefore has some strange peculiarities. For example, a civil servant professor does not contribute to the statutory pension scheme, while a professor at a private university is obliged to do so – in the same job. At first glance, it seems only fair to resolve these peculiarities. But the situation is not that simple. The higher the life expectancy, the greater the risk that the individual person represents for those who have been insured up to now. However, civil servants and freelancers, who have not yet been insured under the statutory pension, have a significantly higher life expectancy than the rest of the population. Thus, employment insurance would be a further burden for future generations. Instead of symbolic politics we need reforms that strengthen the statutory pension in times of demographic change – staying longer on the job because of a higher life expectancy, a larger capital coverage, and a fair sharing of the burden between the generations."

Professor Hagist's full statement can be found here. The hearing can be found as of 5 p.m., January 25, 2021, here in the Parliamentary Television Media Library (both in German).