Source: The Local
While some have speculated that increased immigration could be a strain on Germany’s social security systems, new figures reported by German media seem to show that the safety net is actually profiting greatly. The growing number of immigrants, in particular from other EU countries, has improved the financial system of Germany’s public health insurance scheme as well as its pension funds, according to reports on Wednesday by business newspaper Handelsblatt and Focus magazine. Data from the German Statutory Pension Insurance Scheme shows that pension fund and health insurance contributions are stable in the country thanks to the increased number of immigrants, Handelsblatt reports. The number of non-Germans paying into social security systems increased by 53 percent – or 1.7 million people – between 2008 and 2015. And the number of contributors from other European Union countries alone doubled, reaching two million. The head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV), Doris Pfeiffer, explained that recent healthcare reforms were expected to make things more expensive, but in fact the contributions people pay into the statutory system hardly increased at all. Pfeiffer attributed this to the young, healthy and highly-qualified newcomers, coming in particular from EU countries.