Harmonisation of family benefits services
On 1st January 2017, with the “Gesetz zur Beendigung der Sonderzuständigkeit der Familienkassen des öffentlichen Dienstes” (Act to End the Special Responsibility of the Family Benefits Offices of the Public Sector), the German federal government initiated a major structural reform which provided the impetus for achieving a reduction in administrative costs. Before then, approximately 5,500 family benefits offices throughout Germany were processing child benefit applications for over 20,100 public authorities in the federal government, the federal states, the municipalities and in the public sector, paying child benefits to 2.65 million children.
Family benefits offices in the federal government were required to hand over their child benefit processing to the BA by the end of 2021. Public sector employers in the federal states and the municipalities are not yet obliged to do so, however.
“Soon we will have successfully completed the reform agreed by the federal government towards a uniform, single pillar model. As things stand, almost all the major family benefits offices in the federal states have also transferred their child benefit processing to the BA Family Benefits Office – at the start of the administrative reform programme, it was mainly smaller public sector institutions which made use of this transfer option. In this context, the advantages are clear: with the change of responsibility, municipalities no longer have to pay any of the costs for processing child benefits, and families benefit from the extensive online and service offerings of the BA Family Benefits Office. However, to be able to take the final step towards the “single pillar model”, a second stage of reforms is necessary – this is currently in the legislative process”, explains Karsten Bunk, Director of the BA Family Benefits Office.
The Family Benefits Office pays child benefits to more than 10 million families each month
Over the past year, the approx. 5,600 employees in the Family Benefits Office paid child benefits and the children’s allowance to more than 10 million families and approx. 16.7 million children. In total, the authority made payments to the value of approximately 49 billion euros.