Germany’s statutory retirement insurance expects a surplus of €2.1 billion at the end of 2022, its president, Gundula Roßbach, told the German news agency DPA. “A year ago, a deficit of €6.5 billion had been predicted,” Roßbach said. The surplus can be explained by a surprisingly stable job market in Germany alongside a surprisingly high excess-mortality rate.
Despite multiple crises, the labor market in Germany is sturdy, according to Roßbach. This led to a good revenue situation for retirement insurance.
“We are seeing a 5.5% increase in mandatory contributions from January to November compared to the same period last year,” Roßbach said. At the same time, the federal statistical office reports that life expectancy is rising slower than predicted, which has affected retirement payments.
Excess mortality is another reason retirement insurance is spending less than expected in 2022. “One reason is currently also the Corona pandemic, which has led to an increase in mortality, especially among older people,” Roßbach explained.
That, however, is not verifiable as of yet. The federal statistical office reported high rates of excess mortality throughout the year, but admitted that Covid deaths cannot fully account for the excess mortality.
While statisticians blame the heat wave for the excess mortality in July and August, the numbers from September onwards remain a mystery, considering that more people than ever were vaccinated against COVID-19 compared to previous years, and recent mutations have been considered less deadly than, for instance, the Delta variant that dominated the second half of 2021.
A final verdict can only be reached after the cause-of-death statistics for 2022 are released. But cause-of-death statistics for the period in question do not appear for several months because many causes of death are determined and reported to statisticians with a delay.