Rehabilitation benefits are extended with the pension package

With the large pension package to be implemented on 1 July 2014 improvements in rehabilitation benefits. The new pension law provides for a modified calculation of the rehab budget. For the first time, not only wage developments are taken into account. In the future, the budget will also be measured by population growth.

The coalition’s pension package provides for important changes to the rehabilitation budget. From this, measures for health and vocational rehabilitation for statutory pension insured persons are financed. These become necessary, for example, when working people are affected or threatened with incapacity or reduced earning capacity due to illness or accident. In order for them to carry on their professional activity, the pension insurance pays after examining the need:

  • preventive or curative health measures
  • Adjustments in the workplace so that further employment is possible
  • the cost of a career change

What does increasing the rehab budget mean?

Increasing the rehab budget for the time being has no direct impact on individuals. By contrast, other measures in the pension package will soon be noticeable to those affected. Thus, the mother’s pension increases the individual pensions of many women who gave birth before 1992. The rehab budget, on the other hand, is a set amount of money available to fund rehabilitation benefits. Anyone wishing to avail themselves of rehabilitation benefits in the future will not receive higher benefits. Rather, the change in the calculation of the budget should help to ensure that there are sufficient funds available for rehab measures in the future.

This is how the new rehabilitation budget comes about

The rehab budget is recalculated annually. In 2013, for example, it was 5.8 billion euros. So far, the regular adjustment only took into account the probable wage development in Germany. However, as demographic change shifts the age structure of the population, this is no longer sufficient to make the rehab budget permanently realistic. More and more older professionals are dependent on benefits for rehabilitation. Therefore, with the implementation of the pension package from 1 July 2014, the demographic development should also be included as a factor.

For the time being, the rehab budget will increase by about 100 million euros per year. According to the German Pension Insurance, the increase due to the population development in 2017 will amount to 250 million euros. After 2017, however, the adjustment will be reduced again, because until then the necessary compensation, which has been lacking in recent years, has been achieved.

Hedging in the event of disability

Rehabilitation measures can not always restore work capacity. Since there are only small benefits in this case in the form of a disability pension, private provision of occupational disability insurance is recommended.

More rehab – Higher pension insurance contributions?

For all increases in benefits, of course, always raises the question of whether these lead to higher contributions for the pension insured. However, the changes in rehabilitation benefits or the increase in the rehab budget only account for a very small part of the cost of the pension package. By comparison, the mother’s pension alone generates annual additional costs of around 6.7 billion euros – significantly more than the entire rehabilitation budget, even if the planned increase is taken into account. So if there are premium increases in the medium or long term, the rehab services are hardly to blame.