Category Archive: Benefits

Transitional payment prior to retirement to be considered as an occupational pension

By judgment of 20.03.2018 (3 AZR 277/16) the Federal Labour Court has ruled that a transitional payment (taking into account pension payments) that is granted to a former employee during the first six months after their retirement is to be deemed to be an occupational pension and is, therefore, covered by the German Pension Insurance …

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Occupational Pensions: Submission by Federal Labour Court to the European Court of Justice regarding compensation for benefit reductions by the Pension Insurance Association

By order of 20 February 2018 (3 AZR 142/16 (A)), the Federal Labour Court asked the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling on the interpretation and direct application of Article 8 of Directive 2008/94/EC. According to that provision, Member States are required to ensure that the necessary measures are made to safeguard the …

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Occupational Pensions: Legitimacy of so-called “age difference clauses” in pension arrangements

By judgment of 20.02.2018 (3 AZR 43/17) the Federal Labour Court has ruled that a so-called “age difference clause” (Altersabstandsklausel) providing that spouses receive a survivor’s benefit only if they are no more than 15 years younger than the deceased former employee is admissible.   The plaintiff was born in 1968. She married her husband, …

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Compensation (severance pay) of director’s pension benefits

By judgment of 23.05.2017 (II ZR 6/16) the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) has ruled that the prohibition against compensating for pension benefits according to Section 3 German Occupational Pension Act (Betriebsrentengesetz) may be derogated from by mutual consent and, as a result, ongoing pension benefits of a director can be paid out (severance pay). In …

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Occupational Pensions: Free bus ticket for wife to be considered as pension

By judgment of 23.06.2017 (6 Sa 173/17) the Regional Labour Court of Düsseldorf has ruled that with regard to the period from which the employee receives a pension, a free bus ticket provided by the employer to the employee’s wife is to be considered to be an occupational pension and therefore cannot be revoked. The …

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Are workers in minor employment entitled to occupational pensions?

In an interesting appeal to the Federal Labour Court (docket number 3 AZR 83/16) the services trade union ver.di had been called upon by a female employee – who had originally been employed by the union Deutsche Postgewerkschaft since 1991 and had been working for the defendant since its merger with ver.di in 2001 – …

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No cake for company pensioner

The Labour Court Cologne (Arbeitsgericht, ArbG, Köln, November 24, 2016 – 11 Ca 3589/16) has dismissed the claim of several company pensioners against their former employer, a local food producer. The pensioners claimed a Christmas allowance in the amount of € 105 and a marzipan cake. The pensioners alleged that all company pensioners received those benefits …

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Federal Labor Court rulings to watch in 2017 (edition Jan – March)

Already in the first quarter of the New Year Germany’s Federal Labor Court will deliver a number of judgments important for advisors and practitioners alike: Time Credits for works council members? (- docket no 7 AZR 224/15 – expected for 18 January 2017- ) Although members of a works council act in an honorary role …

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Unemployment benefits despite existing employment relationship

Even without being formally unemployed, an employee might be entitled to unemployment benefits (Arbeitslosengeld I) in the event of factual unemployment, the Social Court Dortmund (Sozialgericht, SG) decided in a recent ruling on 10 October 2016 (docket number: S 31 AL 84/16). The plaintiff, a judicial clerk who was employed at a local court (Amtsgericht, …

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Employer versus heirs: liability for holiday entitlements

The Higher Labour Court Cologne (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG) ruled on 14 September 2016 (docket number 8 Sa 324/16) that holiday entitlements do not extinguish if the employment relationship ends by reason of the worker’s death. The heirs can claim all outstanding leave benefits not depending on whether the claim for allowance in lieu existed at the …

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