Raise the retirement age to prevent skills shortages and inflation? A proposal by economists is now being heavily criticized from various quarters.

The SPD leadership strictly rejects an increase in the retirement age brought into play by economists because of the high inflation.

“The proposal is a callous blunder. The SPD will not allow pensioners to be declared drivers of inflation and economic risk factors,” Secretary General Kevin Kühnert told the Tagesspiegel. “The SPD does not accept that the subject of inflation is always being used by the same people to make their wet neoliberal dreams of the past come true today in the face of impending social imbalances,” said Kühnert. That is disrespectful.

Kühnert is referring to demands that economists formulated in the “Bild” newspaper. There the following context was argued: Demographic change means that there are fewer workers. The competition for skilled workers is intensifying, and salaries are rising, which in turn is fueling inflation. The conclusion: A higher retirement age leads to more workers – and thus counteracts inflation.

Criticism also from the German Federation of Trade Unions

The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) also sharply criticized the proposal. DGB board member Anja Piel told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” that a higher retirement age means more unemployed in real terms. “This is nothing more than a despondent reduction in benefits at the expense of the employees. But that’s not how you fight inflation.” Piel emphasized that employees can already voluntarily work beyond the age of 67. “Only very few can do that. Around every seventh person retires earlier from working life – due to illness, a lack of age-appropriate jobs or working conditions that make people ill.»

Verena Bentele, President of the Social Association VdK, described the proposal to the “Bild” as “impudence”: What seems easy for professors and economists is not affordable for people in physically and mentally demanding jobs. “Instead of letting them pay the crisis bill, it would be better for the wealthy to be taxed higher.” The President of the Social Association Germany, Adolf Bauer, said: “With the current average retirement age of around 64 years, that would mean nothing more than a pension cut.” That was “blatant mockery for all the people who have worked hard all their lives”.