According to data from the federal government, Germany is currently spending a smaller proportion of its economic power on statutory pensions than in 2009 – despite a growing number of pensioners. This emerges from the response of the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs to a request from the Bündnis Sahra Wagenknecht (BSW) party in the Bundestag.

Accordingly, the federal government contributed around 3.3 percent of the gross domestic product to the statutory pension in 2009. Expenditure on statutory pension insurance corresponded to 10.1 percent of GDP. In 2022, federal funding for statutory pension insurance was 2.8 percent of economic power and spending from pension funds was 9.3 percent.

“Pension too expensive? No way!” concluded BSW MP Alexander Ulrich from the figures. “The total expenditure on statutory pension insurance has fallen by almost 1 percent of GDP in the last 13 years. A poverty-proof pension based on Austria’s model can be financed.”

360 billion euros for pensions

In absolute terms, both federal funds for pension funds and their expenses have increased significantly since 2009, as can be seen from the response from the Ministry of Social Affairs. At that time, the federal government contributed almost 80 billion euros per year and the pension insurance spent almost 246 billion euros. In 2022, federal funds were almost 109 billion euros and expenditure was almost 360 billion euros.

However, the nominal gross domestic product grew even faster, namely from almost 2.5 trillion euros to almost 3.9 trillion euros. The share for pensions therefore decreased. Several pension reforms have gradually reduced pension levels in order to keep contributions stable.

The number of pensioners, however, has grown. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of pension recipients due to old age alone increased by around one million within ten years up to 2021. If all types of pensions are taken into account, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs, there are a good 21 million pensioners today.