In order to make pensions, care and healthcare systems fit for the future, we have to get out of the silo mentality. We want to uncover potentials and find solutions that stabilize our public service systems for all generations.
Population aging is currently the main driver of demographic change in Germany: Despite a rise in birth and immigration rates, population aging will accelerate rapidly by 2035 and is not expected to decline again afterwards. The need for public sector benefits such as care, healthcare or pensions will increase considerably as a result. At the same time, the functional bases of the welfare state are breaking away due to fewer contributors, taxpayers and employees. This also has a negative impact on international competitiveness.
One of the biggest challenges of demographic change is that the consequences of population aging will show up simultaneously in the public service systems, e.g. in the pension scheme, the healthcare and care systems. Thereby the consequences in one system will be exacerbated by those in another. In order to ensure social and economic participation across generations, the public service systems must be made resilient to demographic change, which means that they must be adapted to the requirements of the population aging process and stabilized through coordinated and innovative measures.
In contrast, the ongoing economic boom in Germany currently seems to be suppressing the foreseeable challenges that will arise from the accelerated population aging over the coming decades. Reforms such as the "double stop line" in the pension scheme give a false impression of security although necessary and long-term reforms should have been initiated long ago.
Raising awareness of cumulative effects and the need for action in multiple areas
The goal of the Demographic Resilience and Participation project is to make politicians and members of society more aware of the cumulative effects of population aging and of the need to take action in multiple areas. We focus on the consequences of financing shortfalls, a lower number of taxpayers and skills shortage for pensions, tax revenue, care, health, education, public safety and housing. These consequences affect not only the social and economic participation opportunities of the individual at all ages, but also the confidence the population has in the democratic welfare state.
Using synergies to develop solutions
We are working with stakeholders in the political, administrative and scientific community to develop coordinated solution concepts and strategies that could have a stabilizing effect on our public service systems in multiple ways. Thereby the project would also like to contribute to overcoming the "silo mentality" prevailing in the debate, and take advantage of synergy effects between different solutions.