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The budget of the BA 2019: The foundation is laid for relieving contributors

The Administrative Board of the German Federal Employment Agency (BA) adopted the budget for 2019 today.
09 Nov 2018 | Press Release No. 30

The budget laid the foundation for a € 6 billion euro reduction in the burden on contributors, starting January 1, 2019. The financial resources for active continued education support will receive a boost.

The 2019 budget at a glance 

The revenue of € 35.1 billion is offset by total expenditure of € 34.5 billion. Income from premium, as the main source of financing, amounted to € 29.6 billion. The budget, which was calculated on the basis of the planned reduction in the contribution rate, provides for a surplus of € 0.5 billion. The forecast reserve is € 24.3 billion.

Relief for contributors begins with January 1, 2019

The legislator plans to reduce the unemployment insurance contribution by 0.4 percentage points, at the beginning of 2019. In addition, the contribution rate is to be reduced by a further 0.1 percentage points, for a limited period, until the end of 2022. Companies and employees will thus have to pay almost € 6 billion less into unemployment insurance each year, starting with 2019.

Peter Clever, Chairman of the Board of Directors, stressed: "I am pleased that the BA budget has created the conditions for financial relief for employers and employees, through a significantly lower contribution rate. Due to the good economic situation and historically low unemployment figures, no one can avoid a reduction in the contribution rate. However, the 2019 budget of the BA also sends out further positive signals: We have not only succeeded in making solid provisions for worse times, but at the same time we have set important impulses for the expansion of further training support. No rational qualification fails due to lack of financial means. There continues to be sufficient funds available for promotional measures".

More money for qualification measures

The reduction in the contribution rate is part of the German Federal Government's planned Qualification Opportunities Act. The German Federal Employment Agency (BA) has an important role to play against the backdrop of digital and demographic structural change. The law allows it to provide employees and their employers with even more extensive financial support for qualification measures and to accompany them with its labour market and qualification counselling and further training counselling. The financial resources for the promotion of continued education in the BA budget will be increased from € 1.66 billion to € 2.10 billion. For all labour market policy measures, the budget for the coming year provides for around € 10.0 billion.

Annelie Buntenbach, alternating Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, emphasizes: "We must use the good times to prepare ourselves for difficult times. Further qualification in the job is not only a prerequisite for career advancement, but also for keeping a job. I therefore expressly welcome the fact that the German Federal Agency's budget for next year focuses on investment in continuing education and training. The German Federal Agency will intensively advertise to those persons and companies that are eligible for this. Preventive labour market policy plays a decisive role against the backdrop of digitisation."