Men get twice as much pension money as women in Germany

Mind the gap.
Mind the gap.
Image: AP Photo/Martin Meissner
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It’s tough being a female pensioner in Germany. 

A report this week from the Hans Böckler Foundation’s Institute for Economic and Social Sciences found (pdf in German) that women pensioners in 2015 received half of what men got every month when they entered retirement. Looking at income that pensioners could get from three different sources—state, private, and company pensions—researchers found an overall gender pension gap of 53%. 

In fact, the only other country in Europe with a larger gender-pension gap, according to the WSI Gender Data Portal, is Luxembourg—and the difference is slight.  

While Germany’s old-age state pension—the one that everyone gets—does compensate women for time out of the workforce, men on average get €1,154 ($1,359) per month versus just €634 for women. The company pension gender gap is even wider than that, with women receiving a monthly average of €240 to men’s €593.

Women are essentially being penalized in their old age for taking time off to raise families or having had to work part-time, as well as for the fact that they were (and still are) paid less during their working lives. All of this cumulatively means that they contributed less money to state and company pensions.

Co-author of the study Christina Klenner said it’s especially important to improve the state pension for women, since that have little or no income from private and company pensions and are thus more reliant on state money.

The researchers predict the future will be less bleak, as more women are in today’s workforce and traditional gender roles are not as stark—but it’s not too rosy right now: There’s still a 24% pay gap in the state-pension entitlement of employees aged between 25 25 and 65 today.