The second Swiss Life Pension Day was held on October 14 in Munich, when some 80 guests from politics, economics and the media met to discuss the topic: “More security through occupational retirement benefits: current challenges in focus”.
Chaired by Dr Marc Beise, Chief Economics Editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the main speaker at the event was former Federal Minister for Youth, Family and Health Dr Heiner Geissler. His introductory speech “The future of social security systems – has solidarity come to an end?” brilliantly illuminated the problems of social security from the economic and social/ethical viewpoints.

Dr Geissler called for greater solidarity in politics, saying that social security should not be designed to make everyone ultimately responsible for themselves. He added that reducing people to a cost factor contradicted the principles of solidarity in a democratic society. Furthermore, he said that the current problems with pension benefits were not due to demographics alone, and explained that economic growth would determine the future of the social security system and guarantee the solidarity principle. He cited the Swiss model as a positive example of this.

Georg Fahrenschon, another prominent politician who was currently announced as the new Bavarian Minister of Finance, spoke on “Occupational retirement benefits as a building block for securing the future”. Mr Fahrenschon stressed the importance of occupational retirement pensions and the necessity of introducing trust-enhancing measures during the current financial crisis. As a concrete political contribution, he was pursuing an adjustment to income tax rates in Germany, since he believed that the current levels do not encourage productivity. Mr Fahrenschon also called for urgent moves to apply top rates of tax only to those with much higher incomes than at present, in order to relieve middle income-earners. Citizens should retain more of their gross income, which would allow more additional old age savings.

Other speakers at this second Swiss Life Pension Day included: Dr Heinrich Kaiser (Philips Deutschland), Sabine Hüttl (PWC), Prof Dr Heinz-Dietrich Steinmeyer (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster) and Dr Rosemarie Kay (Institut für Mittelstandsforschung).

Swiss Life Pension Day was first launched in Germany in autumn 2007 by Swiss Life and its subsidiary Swiss Life Pension Management GmbH (SLPM). The event addresses current problems - and solutions - in retirement benefits.