GERMANY – The interior ministry has confirmed that it is looking at raising civil service pension contributions.

Any such move would take place in a context of wider social security and pension reform instituted by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

According to current legislation – Versorgungsrueck – civil servants must put aside 0.2% of their wages and the sum put aside can be used from 2018 “only to finance the future social care expenses”.

The law, sanctioned in 2002 by the Supreme Administrative Court, demands that wages and pensions from 1999 and 2017 grow at the same rate.

“Instead of the 0.2 % rate, federal civil servants might be asked to pay a certain percentage of their wages towards their pensions,” said a spokesman for the interior ministry, the Innen Ministerium. “But it is not yet clear how much will be kept.”

The decision would “almost certainly” be made by the government by the end of 2004, the spokesman said – although any changes would only affect employees recruited from 2005 onwards.