Enable financial independence and partnership

Equality means for the commission of experts to aim for a society with equal chances of realization of women and men. The same opportunities for realization require independent economic security.

However, many legal frameworks favor that men focus on earning income, while women perform unpaid or undervalued care that does not provide sustainable livelihood. This gender-stereotypical division of labor is opposed to gender equality and does not correspond to the desire of many couples for a partnership-based approach to employment and care work. Such legal regulations include, for example, spousal taxation, non-contributory co-insurance in statutory health insurance in marriages and registered partnerships, and the special legal status of mini-jobs. Even the
legal matrimonial property regime does not correspond to the partnership ideal of most people. The Commission of Experts recommends adapting these rules so that they contribute to ensuring that all people, regardless of gender, have their own social security and can combine work and care during their life-course.

Distribute tax burden fairly in marriages and civil partnerships The co-investment in income tax (“spouse splitting”) practiced by most couples and civil partnerships treats the couple as if they had each earned exactly half of the common income. If the incomes are in reality differently high, because of the progressive tax tariff a financial advantage over a single taxation, the Splittingvorteil arises.

What does splitting advantage mean?

The splitting benefit is greatest when one person is in high employment and the other is not. If the latter takes up gainful employment, the splitting advantage shrinks. The additional income for the couple thus results from the additional earnings minus the lost splitting benefit. This can be a hurdle when (re) taking up a job.

The Expert Commission recommends the further development of spouse splitting to a “real splitting” to limit the splitting benefit upwards. The distribution of the splitting advantage among the couples is shown month by month on the payroll and is therefore equally effective in terms of equality policy.

In tax class V, 90% are women.

Tax class III contains the entire splitting benefit of the pair. In tax class V, on the other hand, the improperly granted splitting advantage must be made good. This method puts a relatively high tax burden on the less-earning partner in the tax code V, which is usually the wife. From a couple point of view, what is only one method of getting the splitting advantage counted every month is a problem in terms of equality policy because it can give the impression that the seemingly low income growth in tax class V would not justify the effort.

Even under current law, the appropriate payroll tax can be withheld if both have tax code IV and the splitting advantage is split equally between both by factoring. So far, this procedure can only be selected on an annual basis, is poorly known and is only used to a limited extent accordingly. The commission of experts recommends the deletion of the tax code V. The factoring procedure can then apply to both working couples and civil partnerships.

Independent access to the statutory health and long-term care insurance
In the health and long-term care insurance, non-working spouses and registered life partners are insured without any contribution.

Co-insurance creates a financial hurdle if this person wants to take up gainful employment. She then has to pay contributions from her pay to health and long-term care insurance without receiving additional benefits.
The insurance is only guaranteed through the other person of the marriage or civil partnership. There is no independent access.

The commission of experts recommends independent access to health and long-term care insurance – and this also applies to members of electoral families. The contribution-free co-insurance should be limited in time.
Persons who refuse to work in a marriage or a registered partnership for the benefit of caring work should receive independent access to the statutory health and long-term care insurance. Family insurance should also be extended to other, permanently established couple constellations in
which parenting responsibilities are borne. The freedom of contribution is limited in time to phases of intensive care work, eg. For example, the first three years of a child’s life.

The independent access remains after the freedom of contribution. From then on, regular contributions will be paid, either as a compulsorily insured member by paying social security contributions or privately as a voluntarily insured member. The non-contributory insurance of children should be maintained.

Social protection of marginal employment

Minor employment up to 450 euros, so-called mini jobs, are unsuitable for the independent economic security and the development of independent pension rights. Mini jobs “pure” are mostly exercised by women. Mini jobs are privileged in tax and social security: The income is free for Mini Jobber tax and social insurance – even if the mini-job is a part-time job. Employers make lump sums for tax and social security. In conjunction with spousal splitting and non-contributory co-insurance in health and long-term care, mini-jobs encourage a division of responsibilities among couples, where one person is fully employed and the other person earns at least a mini-job. 61% of mini jobbers aged 20-64 work exclusively in the Mini job.