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Germany

SPD says Pensions Hike in 2004 Unlikely

German retirees shouldn't expect an increase in their pension payments next year, Social Democratic Party General Secretary Olaf Scholz said Thursday. At a congress of SPD seniors in the eastern town of Halle, Scholz said the current center-left coalition would do its best to allow for gradual increases in social security payments in order to match the increasing cost of living. But he added it was “not likely” that would be the case in 2004. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder had on Wednesday evening already said people should not expect their pensions to increase as it has in the past due to the economic and demographic challenges Germany faces.

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