Distributional Effects of Increasing the Insurance Periods Recognized for Bringing Up Children

Press Release of May 14, 2014

The planned increase of the insurance periods recognized for bringing up children (Mütterrente) will increase the pension contribution rate by an average of 0.3 percentage points and reduce the gross pension level by an average of 0.4 percentage points by 2018. However, since government subsidies to the pension system are to be gradually increased from 2019, the longer-term impact on contribution rates and pension levels will be dampened, possibly at the cost of an increase of general taxes. Relative to net household income, the Mütterrente will primarily benefit low- and middle-income pensioner households, providing they have children born before 1992. From this perspective, the reform appears progressive. However, pensioners on a low income will only benefit if they are not claiming the basic minimum pension or, as a result of the Mütterrente - less than 30 euros per month per child - no longer qualify for the basic minimum pension. Pensioners who continue to claim the minimum pension will not benefit. This affects approximately three percent of women over the age of 65. At the same time, pensioners with higher incomes will be able to take full advantage of the reform. The bottom line is that those currently paying pension contributions and pensioners who do not have children born before 1992 will have to bear the cost.