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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Altersarmut vermeiden - Mindestlohn ist kein Allheilmittel

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Abstract

"To prevent or confine old-age poverty, the Social Democrat (SPD) as well as the Left (Die Linke) and Green (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) parliamentary parties propose changes in pension insurance legislation. Furthermore, potential old-age poverty can be confined in particular by improving labour market conditions and individual employment biographies. The Institute for Employment Research (IAB) comments on possible side effects of the Opposition's proposals concerning the labour market, and identifies possibilities of preventing old-age poverty from the perspective of labour market policy. The IAB does not comment on pension-related legal issues in the narrow sense, as the institute does not conduct research in this field.
The proposals in the various draft laws issued to the Bundestag (parliament) are understandable from a distribution-political perspective of those concerned. Their implementation, however, would induce at least two counterproductive effects on the labour market that must be taken into consideration. On the one hand, implementing the proposals would, other conditions being equal, cause additional fiscal burdens, the amount of which cannot be specified by the IAB. The financial means required hereto would have to be levied either through taxes or social security contributions. On the other hand, concerning the incentives to the employed and the unemployed, non-intended effects in two directions can occur. Similar to the case of more 'generous' transfers of unemployment benefit for the long-term unemployed, their searching intensity and willingness to making (wage-related) concessions would be weakened, other things being equal. Improving the status of lower-compensated periods could furthermore inhibit concerned persons' efforts directed towards upward mobility (e.g. regarding human capital investment).
Another way of confining or preventing old-age poverty would be ensuring that as many future pension recipients as possible attain a pension level securing existential needs by means of their employment biography. Critical in this respect are interruptions of gainful employment (e.g. unemployment) and the income levels in years of social security contribution. A sustainably successful economic, employment and labour market policy therefore makes important contributions to old-age financial security. A moderate minimum wage, however, at best can contribute indirectly to the confinement of old-age poverty." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

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Bibliographical information

Feil, Michael; König, Marion; Stops, Michael; Walwei, Ulrich (2010): Altersarmut vermeiden - Mindestlohn ist kein Allheilmittel * öffentliche Anhörung von Sachverständigen vor dem Ausschuss für Arbeit und Soziales des Deutschen Bundestags am 27. September 2010. (IAB-Stellungnahme, 05/2010), Nürnberg, 14 p.
 

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