June 23. 2024. 1:16

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One in five women in Germany at risk of old-age poverty

One in five women over 65 in Germany is at acute risk of poverty, Germany’s Statistics Agency warned on Tuesday ahead of International Women’s Day, meaning that the gap between men’s and women’s pensions, just like the one for wages, is among the largest in the European Union.

In Germany, the gender pensions gap – the relative difference between women’s and men’s old-age income – is almost 30%, the statistics agency’s report states.

Pensions are thus even more unequally distributed between men and women than earned income, as women earn 18% less per hour on average than men across all job sectors – making Germany one of the EU states with one of the largest unadjusted gender pay gaps.

The even higher gap for pensions can mostly be explained by lower incomes driving down pension claims as well as the system penalising part-time work and career interruptions – two trends that are more common among women who are more often responsible for childcare, housework, and caring for elderly or sick family members.

Elderly women are “much more often at risk of poverty” than men and struggle to pay rent more often than their male counterparts, the agency added.

The gap would be far wider if women could not receive the pension claims they currently receive because of their male partners, such as widow’s pensions.

If those were removed, the old-age gender gap would be even wider, with women receiving almost 43% less than men.

(Julia Dahm | EURACTIV.de)