Commission Report "A Strong Family"
Demographic Change

Commission Report "A Strong Family”

In 2005, the commission for “Family and Demographic Change” convened by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and chaired by Professor Kurt Biedenkopf drafted recommendations and proposed solutions for developing measures to support families in the face of the challenges of demographic change.

For almost 18 months, the commission studied the diverse factors that influence the creation of families and motivate couples to have children. The commission distinguished between economic factors that influence personal life plans and values, role models, and the social environment.

The recommendations focus on the present pension, tax and social insurance systems in Germany. The report shows that the existing tax structure and social welfare system discriminates against families considerably. The core recommendations are as follows:
  • The most important factor in modern and equitable family policy should be to address the private financial burdens and public benefits of all investments in children;
  • Families should be granted significant tax relief, and the size of pension payouts should depend on how many children recipients have;
  • A family tax splitting scheme based on the French model that divides family income not only between parents, but all family members, should be introduced.