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Reform of the statutory disability pension scheme

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
Abolition of occupational disability as an insured / event. The ability to work in any job on the labou / r market for at least 6 hours became the only / criterion for receiving a disability pension. / A distinction was introduced between a full and a p / artial disability pension. Disabled persons are eli / gible for a full disability pension if they are / not able to work in any job on the labour market fo / r at least three hours a day. They are eligible for / a partial disability pension if they are able to / work more than three but less than six hours.
Target group
Older Workers
Policy Field
  • pension
  • social
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
2001, open-ended
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: It was a structural innovat ion within the range of options for retirement.
  • Budgets: Annual expenditure from the pension insurance fund for this type of p ension declined from 17.16 billion Euros ( 2 001) to 1 4 . 2 1 billion Euros ( 2 008). However, effects of the reform cannot be sepa rated from structural change (shrinking of industri es requiring heavy manual labour) and improved working conditions due to tech nological change and health and safety measures.
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: Numbers of entries into disability pensions granted declined from 1.86 million in 2001 to 1.68 million in 2012.
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The innovation is part of a bundle of measures to e / xtend working lives. In this respect the most essen / tial part is the abolition of the occupational / disability pension scheme forcing individuals not a / ble to remain in their current job but able to work / in another job or profession to be available / to the labour market. / Thus in a nutshell: Closing a further potential pat / hway to early retirement. Especially: Preventing th / e long-term unemployed from "dodging" the / "activation system" that was introduced shortly aft / erwards by taking a disability pension.
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
This innovation clearly had a long-term perspecti / ve and changed the disability pension / scheme rather radically because retirement by reaso / n of occupational disability was fully abolished.
Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
  • typical strategy for the innovation (optional; according to Obinger)-dualisation
Type of innovation
  • new/changed output and/or outcome
  • retrenchment or expansion of an existing/earlier policy
New outputs
  • benefit eligibility
Intended target group
Working population (employees and unemployed) with disabilities or health issues preventing paid work.
Working age population
  • income level (low/medium/high)
  • main source of income: paid work
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-agency or national social insurance body
  • making/implementation and/or evaluation-central state
Clarification of the role of various actors
National legislation defines the framework and the / features of the disability pension scheme. The same / applies to the eligibility criteria / (applicants have to be incapable to work more than / three hours for a full and six hours for a partial / disability pension, and they must have paid / pensions contributions for three in the previous fi / ve years). Access control in turn is the obligation / of the German Pension Insurance. This / refers to the fulfillment of both actuarial and med / ical eligibility criteria. With regard to the latte / r, the German Pension Insurance maintains a / medical department of its own.
Intended output
  • benefit eligibility (Abolition of occupational disability pension )
  • working time (Prolongation of working lives)
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