Labor statistics: More than one million pensioners go to work.


More and more people in Germany are continuing to work even in old age. In 2019, the number of pensioners who continue to work will have increased by 45 percent compared to 2010. According to statistics, the proportion of women in particular has risen.

The number of pensioners who are still in gainful employment continues to rise. In 2019, according to statistics from the Federal Employment Agency, around 1.29 million people who had reached the standard retirement age were still in gainful employment. This was around 400,000 or 45 percent more than in 2010, according to a response by the Federal Government to an inquiry by the AfD. Compared to 2005, there were even 547,000 or 73 percent more pensioners who were in gainful employment.

According to these figures, the total number of pensioners rose by 3.9 percent from 2010 to 2019 to around 17.11 million.

Eight out of ten gainfully employed pensioners – 1.02 million or 79.2 percent – were only marginally employed last year, according to calculations by the AfD labor market policy expert René Springer. Every fifth working pensioner – 268,000 or 20.8 percent – was employed subject to social insurance contributions. This figure has risen continuously in recent years, from 11.9 percent in 2005 to 20.8 percent in 2019.

This shows that the proportion of women and pensioners from the new federal states who were in gainful employment when they were old has increased in particular, explained the Brandenburg member of the Bundestag. For example, the number of women of retirement age in the workforce has risen by 170,577 or 42.4 percent in the last ten years until 2019. And the proportion of East Germans of working age rose by 77,332 or 61.5 percent, while the proportion of West Germans of working age rose by 324,110 or 42.3 percent.

In its response, the federal government argues that “contrary to what is often assumed, gainful employment at retirement age is not an indication of poverty in old age. It refers to a study by the Federal Institute for Population Research: “The majority of those surveyed cite immaterial aspects as the main reasons for gainful employment after reaching the standard retirement age. These include, for example, enjoying work, contact with other people or the feeling of being needed.

Springer didn’t want to leave it at that: “I rather fear that many pensioners will have to take a job in order to avert poverty in old age and social benefits.



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