What if everyone stops working

What to do if you don't want to retire

Some people are longing for retirement so they can finally enjoy their well-deserved retirement. For others, the abrupt end of working life is unthinkable or even impossible. You still feel productive and would like to continue working. Both are possible. Either you postpone your retirement or you continue to work as a pensioner. In 2017, more than 240,000 retired people were in employment subject to social security contributions. Almost 980,000 retirees had mini-jobs. More than 411,000 people over the age of 65 were self-employed. This emerges from a report by the Federal Employment Agency, which was published in November 2018.

Most retirees work for social and personal reasons. In a survey by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), over 90 percent of working retirees said they enjoyed their work and needed contact with people. Almost as many gave the reason that they still needed a job. However, 53 percent of the men and even 70 percent of the women said they needed the money, as reported by the research institute of the Federal Employment Agency. We spoke about the subject with Matthias Degelmann, specialist lawyer for labor law in Würzburg.

Question: Do I have to stop working when I have retired?

Matthias Degelmann: No, you don't have to. You can continue to work after reaching the regular retirement age, with your previous employer or with another employer.

Can my boss ask me to stop?

Degelmann: In principle, the boss cannot ask that you stop working. In most employment contracts, however, it is stipulated that the employment relationship ends at the latest at the end of the month in which the employee has reached the statutory retirement age. If you don't have an employment contract, the employment relationship simply continues for an indefinite period.

Do collective agreements stipulate when to stop?

Degelmann: In some collective agreements it is actually specified exactly when the employment relationship ends. For example, with teachers: There the employment relationship ends - without the need for notice - at the end of the school half-year either on January 31 or July 31 in which the teacher has reached the statutory age for reaching the standard retirement pension.

Am I entitled to a part-time job as I get older?

Degelmann: Everyone who works in a company with more than 15 employees has the right to work part-time. This is stipulated in the Part-Time and Fixed-Term Employment Act. The employer can only object to the employee's part-time request if there are important operational reasons against it. The employer would have to prove and prove this. If you have decided to work part-time, you are (currently) not entitled to return to your full-time position later. In many companies, reducing is always possible; again with the hours upwards, only possible with the consent of the employer.

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Do I have to quit if I want to retire?

Degelmann: Anyone who does not have a time limit to the regular retirement age in their employment or collective bargaining agreement can simply continue to work, even beyond the statutory retirement age. If there is nothing in the contract about this and you do not get a proper notice of termination by this deadline, you would either have to terminate the contract yourself or you can continue to work as long as you want. By the way: You are not allowed to be terminated just because of your age. If this were the case, age discrimination could even be suspected, which is not only prohibited under the AGG (General Equal Treatment Act), but may also result in payment of damages.

As a pensioner, can I take a break and then start working again?

Degelmann: If you are considering taking up a job as a pensioner, you should find out from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung how this will affect your pension amount. The pension insurance will give you information about this and calculate the amount of possible additional earnings.

I want to work longer. What should I do?

Degelmann: You should seek a conversation with the boss in good time. Otherwise the employer may already be looking for a successor.

Are there advantages for employers in employing retirees?

Degelmann: Yes. If the employee reaches the regular retirement age, the employer will save the unemployment insurance contributions from this point in time.

How much can pensioners earn in addition?

Degelmann: Those who officially retire can continue to work as a pensioner. Earnings in addition to the pension are possible up to the exemption amount of 6300 euros per year - without being offset against the pension. You have the full pension up to this exemption. All salaries that are higher than this are counted towards 40 percent of the pension and reduce it. The pension is then paid as an individually calculated partial pension. When the regular retirement age is reached, the additional earnings limits no longer apply and the pension is paid in full regardless of additional earnings.

Do I get the pension automatically?

Degelmann: No, a pension application must first be submitted. The German Pension Insurance recommends that you do this at least three months before you retire.

When is it worth paying voluntary amounts into the pension fund?

Degelmann: This can be worthwhile if you plan to retire earlier. Because you have to expect deductions from your pension. Each month of early retirement results in a pension deduction of 0.3 percent. Anyone who would like to offset these discounts can make voluntary special payments into the pension fund from the age of 50. You can find out the amount of the special payments from the German Pension Insurance. You should have this calculated exactly beforehand.

Is the pension taxable?

Degelmann: Pensions are generally taxable income, but not every pensioner has to pay taxes. The later you retire, the higher the taxable portion of the pension. The tax rate increases from year to year - those who retire in 2019 have a tax rate of 78 percent. If you retire in 2040 or later, you will have to pay full tax on your pension.

This is how it is checked: First, tell your pension provider that you will soon take up employment and how much you can expect to earn. Based on your additional earnings, this calculates the pension amount for the current calendar year and for the period up to June 30 of the following year. A forecast is made. In the following year, a comparison is made as to whether the additional earnings you have earned have matched the expected additional earnings. This process is called peak billing. If the amounts do not match, the pension will be recalculated retrospectively. If there is an overpayment, you have to pay it back. If the pension was previously set too low, you will receive the additional payment. Then a new forecast is made.
Do you have any questions about retirement? Then you can call the free service hotline of the German Pension Insurance: There experts answer all questions about prevention, rehabilitation, pensions or old-age provision. Telephone (0800) 10 00 48 00.
With eight advice centers and numerous consultation days, the experts from Deutsche Rentenversicherung Nordbayern are available throughout Lower Franconia. The more than 100 voluntary insurance advisors will also help you. You can find the information center closest to your place of residence on the Internet and make an appointment there at www.deutsche-rentenversicherung-nordbayern.de
The citizen hotline of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is also available for questions about pensions on (030) 221 911 001.
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