Report: German Women Receive less than Half as Much Pension as Men

Only Luxembourg has a larger pension gender gap in Europe.

German women received less than half the pension as men in retirement per month in 2015, according to a report from the Hans Böckler Foundation’s Institute for Economic and Social Sciences.

Adding up the income from statutory pension, occupational pensions, and private pensions, the result for 2015 is a “gender pension gap” of 53%, according to the report. It also found that the gap is significantly larger in the western part of the country at 58%, while it’s only 28% in the east. And compared to other European countries, only Luxembourg has a larger gender gap.

“Although statutory pensions—by far the most important pillar of pensions—mean that women’s own entitlements are far lower than those of men,” said the report, “statutory old-age pensions provide mechanisms for social compensation in favor of women.”

The report found that level of the statutory pension in 2015 was on average €1,154 ($1,357) for men, and €634 per month for women—a difference of 45%. And in occupational pensions in the private sector, the gender gap is just under 60%.

The researchers attribute the pension gap in Germany to the traditional division of labor between genders, saying working women take more time off work for parenting or caring for relatives; work more part-time, are paid less on average, and thus earn less pension entitlements.

However, despite the wide divide between men and women’s pensions, the report said some, albeit limited, progress is being made to diminish the pension gender gap. 

“The gap in the retirement income of men decreases from year to year, because more and more women are gainfully employed and care work is now partly rewarded with the pension,” said the report. “However, the difference also decreases because men’s pensions tend to decline. There is also still a long way to go before real equality is achieved.”

Tags: , , ,