2021 July 15 Thursday
Between palm trees and atolls
The highest foreign pensions flow into the South Seas
The dream of getting a pension in paradise: According to the Ministry of Labor, the highest foreign pensions go to the island states of Micronesia and Palau. For an FDP politician, however, the real reason for leaving Germany after a life of hard work was not to see prosperity.
More and more German retirees are looking for happiness abroad – and some are getting more pensions with them. Last year, the highest average payments came from Germany to the South Seas, Micronesia and Palau. When the Ministry of Labor responded to a question from the FDP Parliamentary Committee, less than five percent of German pensioners there pay an average of 1533 euros (Micronesia) and 1336 euros (Palau). In the Central African Republic, Qatar and the Caribbean states of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the average pension is 900 to 1200 euros.
A total of 1.74 million overseas pensions were paid last year – to Germans living abroad, to foreigners who worked as guest workers in Germany, and then to their homeland. On average, the amounts involved are around 350 euros.
The lowest pensions went to Burkina Faso for about 90 euros and to Kosovo for 205 euros. Italy has a large share, with more than 370,800 pensioners and an average of 246 euros paid – especially in the 1960s and 1970s when a large number of Italians came to work in Germany.
The number of pensions for Germans abroad increased from about 229,000 in 2015 to 248,000 last year. Most of these retirees live in Austria, Switzerland and the United States.
Warning of mismanagement in the pension system
Marcus Herbrand, FDP finance politician for the German press organization, said many Germans wanted to enjoy retiring abroad as they got older. However, he warned: “We must be very careful not to abandon this development in view of the shortcomings of the pension system and the high tax burden in Germany.” First, German pensioners should not be forced to leave the country because they can no longer afford the old-fashioned standard of living.
Herbrand also pointed out that about 2,000 retirees in the coming year will have to suddenly file taxes due to a pension increase. “Many seniors are overwhelmed by filing taxes, so the government should tax pensions, which is more complex, transparent and simple,” he stressed. This figure is based on the federal government’s estimate. Pensions in the West are stagnant this year due to the Corona collapse, while in the new federal states they will rise 0.7 percent on July 1.