The path to a statutory pension fund is to be made easier for civil servants

The path to a statutory pension fund is to be made easier for civil servants

Following in the footsteps of hamburg, several SPD and left-wing states want to make it easier for civil servants to join the statutory health insurance system.

There are concrete plans in thuringia, brandenburg, bremen and berlin, as a survey by the deutsche presse-agentur shows. In hamburg, since august 2018, new civil servants or those who already have statutory health insurance can receive an allowance for statutory health insurance (GKV) as a "lump-sum allowance".

Today, more than eight out of ten civil servants in germany have private health insurance. In a statutory fund, they must pay the contribution alone until now. In private health insurance (PHI), 50 to 70 percent of treatment costs are covered by the state as assistance, the rest is paid by the insurance company. In 2017, the SPD entered the federal election campaign with the demand for a burger insurance scheme. Privately insured should be able to switch. Every newly insured person should automatically be a member. More and more high-income earners, civil servants and self-employed persons should also be insured by statutory health insurance. In the coalition with the union, such a reform had no chance.

In hamburg, around 1200 civil servants applied for the lump-sum allowance in the first half of the year. 1015 of them have already received the subsidy with their february salaries according to the personnel office. "The number of over 1,000 officers shows that there is a rough need for such a regulation," said health senator cornelia prufer-storcks (SPD). The fact that a disproportionately large number of applicants came from the lower salary groups "makes it clear that we have created a very socially just alternative to the previous subsidies."

The model is particularly attractive for civil servants with families, as they benefit from income-dependent contributions and non-contributory family insurance, said a spokesman for the authorities. In addition, the lump-sum subsidy is a protection against contribution overcharges in old age. "While private health insurance premiums often rise with age, contributions to the statutory health insurance system fall with decreasing income in old age."

Thuringia wants to follow hamburg’s example. The state government wants to give civil servants the choice of whether they want statutory or private health insurance. A corresponding bill is currently being discussed in the state parliament’s interior committee. The planned law is intended to introduce an additional subsidy so that civil servants can also opt for statutory health insurance without having to fear financial disadvantages, explained secretary of the interior uwe hohn (SPD) in erfurt.

In january, the state government of brandenburg introduced a bill to introduce such a flat rate in state parliament. Finance minister christian gorke (left) sees it as a step toward making the state administration more attractive. The 4,000 or so civil servants in brandenburg who are already voluntarily insured and have had to pay the entire contribution themselves will have more money. Bremen’s red-green government also wants to allow civil servants to choose between private and statutory insurance in the future.

Berlin also plans a flat-rate subsidy for civil servants who have voluntary statutory health insurance. The red-red-green senate had decided on corresponding key points. The model is to come into force at the beginning of 2020. Finance senator matthias kollatz (SPD) sees the change as a contribution to giving civil servants a real choice between statutory and private health insurance. The move is particularly important for civil servants in lower pay brackets.

In lower saxony, the issue of accepting civil servants into the statutory health insurance system is currently being "examined with an open mind," according to a government spokeswoman. The state parliament in hanover has received a draft bill from the opposition grunen faction that is identical in wording to the regulation in force in hamburg. The ministry of finance in mainz said that there are currently no plans for an initiative on the part of the state. Developments in other countries remain to be seen. The state government is observing this.

Politicians from the SPD and the greens in the federal government had buried the state proposal. According to the GKV-spitzenverband. "90 percent of the population is covered by statutory health insurance. Civil servants should not be prevented, either directly or indirectly, from being part of the solidarity-based community of the statutory health insurance system," florian lanz, spokesman for the GKV-spitzenverband, told dpa.

The PKV association and the civil servants’ association dbb reject the advance payment. Federal minister of the interior horst seehofer (CSU) also opposed the "hamburger model".