The fifth part of the series also deals with easily recognizable software errors. This time it is the often missing input options for different pension start dates. This leads to considerable bias in health care analyses.
Even in the case of single persons, it can happen that the individual pension benefits start at different ages – for example, the occupational pension scheme pension at 60, the Riester pension at 65 and the statutory pension at 67. In the case of married couples, different starting years are even the rule because of age differences. For most pensions, the starting year determines the taxable portion of the pension. In the case of statutory pensions or Rürup pensions, the cohort principle applies, depending on the calendar year. In the case of pensions taxed on a pro rata basis, the taxable portion depends on the age reached. In all cases, a reduction in the contribution period reduces the pension amount – even if this is done for “programme-related” reasons. In some cases of “bringing forward” the pension, there is even a ban on paying out the pension or there is no pension entitlement yet. However, this does not prevent some software providers from combining all start dates for programming simplification reasons (see mask). In the example shown, the consultant is at least made aware of the problem. Many software solutions, treacherously, don’t even make the forced merge transparent. The basic evil of such “solutions” is the almost always false assumption that there is a representative pension year for the entire pension phase. The correct support would rather be the calculation of all pension years and the display of an arbitrarily selectable year of consideration or even a time series for the years from the first pension. If the input options for the start dates for old-age provisions are missing, every intermediary must be aware that a correct provision analysis is usually impossible from the outset – if only for tax reasons. This can be held against him. Intermediaries are also allowed to give tax advice because it is usually a subordinate “simple” ancillary service. However, even this advice must be correct – the insurance intermediary is liable for it just like any lawyer or tax advisor, with the small difference that the intermediary’s pecuniary loss liability insurance does not cover this area at all. Apparently, only very few software producers and insurers have sufficient (tax) quality control. The other offerers deliver the mediator with the customer presumably directly to the knife – because the printouts over the incorrect fiscal consulting results can refer the customer later as basis with the adhesion process problem-free. A “Judge Merciless” will appreciate this. Fiscal misadvice means a completely unnecessary risk that the client could simply walk away from his pension product later on. The client will not only reclaim all premiums paid, but also a standard capital market interest rate.
Dr. Wolfgang Drols and Dr. Johannes Fiala
(Versicherungsmagazin 1/2009, 52)
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Dr. Johannes Fiala has been working for more than 25 years as a lawyer and attorney with his own law firm in Munich. He is intensively involved in real estate, financial law, tax and insurance law. The numerous stages of his professional career enable him to provide his clients with comprehensive advice and to act as a lawyer in the event of disputes.
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