Millions of women face poverty in old age

Millions of women face poverty in old age
Photo: DPA
Millions of German woman may face poverty in old age, a government report revealed on Wednesday. Many of the country's part-time workers, most of whom are women, must live on a pension of €200 a month.

An average part-time employee banks just €3.11 a month for their pension fund, calculations from the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry showed.

A person working a part-time job for 45 years can expect to have no more than €139.45 to live on each month in retirement. This could have enormous consequences for millions in Germany, Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported.

Of the 7.4 million employees in Germany who receive less than €400 a month, 4.65 million are women – three quarters of whom worked exclusively part-time jobs.

Acknowledging the problem, Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen said she intended to introduce a subsidised rent for low-level earners by 2013.

If people pay into a pension fund themselves, von der Leyen said, the average monthly pay-out should double to around €365.

“A low pension is not necessarily an indicator of an all-round low income during old age,” said von der Leyen. The average German woman receives €535 a month in pension payments, the minister added.

If other sources of income are taken into account, this figure stands at a healthier €1,188 for a single female pensioner, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. An average retired couple would have €2,248 to live on.

DPA/The Local/jcw

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