Thuringia is promising a double-digit million amount from the state coffers for the hardship fund for certain pensioners with claims from GDR times. An amount of 35 million euros is planned, the State Chancellery announced on Tuesday in Erfurt after the cabinet meeting. The state government had hesitated with the decision because they actually wanted to have the circle of those entitled to be expanded.
The money is to be brought into the federal foundation to mitigate hardship cases from the East-West pension transition, for Jewish quota refugees and late resettlers. The federal states can join the foundation until March 31 of this year if they take on a financial share.
Whether the federal payment of 2,500 euros each for each beneficiary and the state share of 2,500 euros can be paid out jointly by the office of the foundation or whether the state share will only be paid in 2024 is still to be clarified with the federal government. Because the talks dragged on, payment from the state budget to the fund in 2023 was not yet possible. However, it should be included in the budget for 2024, the State Chancellery said.
Payments totaling a one-off amount of 5,000 euros are to go to cases of hardship from Thuringia resulting from the transfer of East pensions, as well as to Jewish refugees and late resettlers who spent a significant part of their working life in the former GDR. The prerequisite for the one-off payment is neediness, i.e. pensions close to basic security.
Applications for the federal payment of 2,500 euros have been available for a few weeks. The federal government planned 500 million euros for the hardship fund. It is about East Germans with certain pension entitlements from GDR times that were not included in the federal German system in 1991. Examples are former employees of the Reichsbahn or post office as well as claims from women who divorced during the GDR era.
On the other hand, the fund is aimed at late resettlers and so-called Jewish quota refugees who Germany took in from the former Soviet Union.