23 Jul 2021 | Press Release No. 28
Since 2017, smaller family benefits offices in Germany have been able to transfer their child benefit cases permanently to the Federal Employment Agency’s family benefits office. The Federal Employment Agency’s family benefits office has now taken over the payments for more than one and a half million children from 17,000 smaller benefits offices.
“Whilst it was mainly small public sector institutions that took advantage of this handover option in the first few years of the administrative reform, even very large state family benefits offices are now transferring their processing of child benefit to the Federal Employment Agency’s family benefits office – a clear advantage for the local authorities; after all, they ultimately benefit from the transfer of responsibility due to the elimination of all the costs associated with the processing of child benefit”, states Karsten Bunk, director of the Federal Employment Agency’s family benefits office.
For people eligible for child benefit, a friction-free, unbureaucratic takeover has been ensured.
Accomplishment of the reform: family benefits office landscape
With the “Act on Ending the Special Responsibility of Public Sector Family Benefits Offices”, the federal government introduced a major structural reform on 1st January 2017 in order to reduce administrative expenditure by the end of 2021. Hitherto, around 18,000 public sector authorities funded by the federal government, the federal states, the municipalities and public-law institutions have processed the child benefit applications themselves and disbursed the child benefit.
Public sector family benefits offices on a federal level must mandatorily hand over their processing of child benefit by the end of 2021. There is not yet any obligation for public sector employers funded by the federal states and the local authorities.
Family benefits office pays child benefit to almost 10 million families
The around 5,200 employees of the family benefits office have paid child benefit and a child benefit supplement to around 9.7 million families in the past year. In total, the office disbursed around 47 billion euros – that corresponds to around 11 % of the total national budget.