New Year, New Laws: These Changes Will Bring a Breath of Fresh Air in 2024!

Changes to parental allowance, increase in care allowance, extended deposit obligation – these and other news and laws will come into force in 2024. Below is an overview.

• Three innovations in social insurance and social benefits
• Introducing an interactive hospital atlas and increasing nursing care
• Expanded deposit requirement, black box and EV financing

Innovation in social insurance and social benefits

In the area of ​​social security and benefits, there will be significant changes in 2024, which will affect a large part of the population.

The compulsory insurance premium limit, also known as the annual wage limit, defines the maximum earnings up to which an employee is covered by statutory health insurance (GKV) is compulsorily insured. From 2024, this limit will increase to 69,300 euros per year or 5,775 euros per month, according to the PKV in an online article. This means that people with an income above this threshold have the option of choosing between private and statutory health insurance.

Another change applies to this one Parental allowance, which parents receive for financial support after the birth of a child. The federal government plans to lower the income threshold for receiving parental allowance to €150,000 for single parents and couples. The limit is currently €250,000 for single parents and €300,000 for couples. If the budget proposal is passed, around 60,000 parents could be affected by this change from 2024 and no longer receive parental allowance, as Simply Parental Allowance reported in the article.

For the recipient Disability pension Changes are also planned. The pension will be increased for people who are no longer fully able to work due to illness or disability. From July 2024, the supplement according to the German pension insurance will be in the online contribution, the amount of which depends on the start of the disability pension. Pensions that started between 2001 and June 2014 are charged a 7.5 percent surcharge, and pensions that began between July 2014 and December 2018 are charged a 4.5 percent surcharge. Pensioners do not need to submit a separate application; The German pension insurance will check your eligibility and automatically pay the supplement.

Nursing and healthcare

2024 also sees significant innovations in care and healthcare that will have a direct impact on those in need of care and their relatives.

The care allowance, financial support for those in need, will increase by five percent at the beginning of 2024. This increase is the first adjustment since 2017 and will automatically apply to recipients of this benefit. A further increase of 4.5 percent is planned to follow on January 1, 2025, according to the website pflege.de in an online article. The same applies to care benefits in kind, which will also increase by five percent at the beginning of the year. Here, too, a further increase of 4.5 percent is planned for 2025, as they say. Care benefits in kind are financial support for those who use professional care services.

Another important project, according to the federal government, is the introduction of an interactive hospital atlas, which should be accessible online from May 1, 2024. The atlas will provide patients with detailed information about specialty areas, caseloads and clinic staffing. The federal government says the data will be even more specific from 1 October 2024 and will include, among other things, case numbers broken down into 65 service groups and information on complication rates for selected procedures. This offer is intended to increase transparency and support patients in choosing a specialized clinic, it is stated further. The federal government emphasizes that patients have a right to know the services provided by clinics and that a hospital’s specialization can save a life. The hospital atlas is part of a larger law on hospital transparency that has already been approved by the Bundestag.

New regulations for single-use beverage packaging, extended deposit obligation and restrictions on the promotion of electric cars

From July 2024, a new regulation for single-use beverage packaging will come into force in Germany, which will require the introduction of non-removable lids, so-called “tied closures”, according to the consumer advice center. This is the implementation of an EU directive. These containers can hold up to three liters and are made entirely or partly of plastic, as they say. The cap, on the other hand, remains firmly attached to the container, although it can be unscrewed to consume the drink. The aim of this EU regulation is to reduce environmental pollution caused by lost caps, as they can no longer be separated from the packaging and are therefore less likely to end up in nature.

The deposit requirement in Germany will also be comprehensively expanded in early 2024 to include single-use plastic drink bottles that contain milk and mixed milk drinks, according to the consumer advisory board. This change follows on from the existing deposit requirement for other beverage packaging, whereby the amount of the deposit is 25 cents. The extension to dairy products, on the other hand, means that these drink containers will be charged a deposit regardless of their content, increasing the incentive to recycle these bottles and cans and reducing waste and environmental pollution should contribute.

Another change concerns Electric car– Financing in Germany. The new rules state that only electric cars with a net list price of up to €45,000 are eligible for financing, which the federal government says is €20,000 less than before. The state’s share of the funding, which is known as the ecological bonus, is reduced to 3,000 euros. It is important to note that these changes only affect private individuals, as support for commercial buyers has already ended from 1 September 2023. In addition, plug-in hybrid vehicles will no longer be subsidized by the environmental bonus from 2024, he concludes. It should also be noted that the financing rules for vehicles ordered in 2023 will apply from 2024 if delivery and registration takes place after 31 December 2023.

New road traffic regulations for novice drivers and seniors over 60 years old

New, sometimes controversial rules for driving licenses are also being prepared in the EU for 2024, which will affect both novice drivers and seniors, such as ADAC reported. However, these changes have not yet been finalized and many proposed changes have been submitted to the Commission. The proposed regulations are as follows: For novice drivers, EU member states could impose a night driving ban that prohibits driving between midnight and 6 a.m. to reduce drink driving. Speed ​​limits on motorways are also under discussion, with novice drivers not allowed to go faster than 90 km/h, as reported by a number of media outlets. Regular driving tests are planned for seniors aged 60 and over to test their ability to drive.

Introducing the black box

From July 7, 2024, a change in vehicle safety will be introduced in Germany, as ADAC informs in an article. All newly registered vehicles must then be equipped with a so-called Event Data Recorder (EDR), colloquially known as a “black box”, as it is called. This device records important data shortly before and after the accident and serves to better understand the circumstances of the accident. EDR is usually installed in the airbag control unit, where relevant information from acceleration sensors is collected, ADAC continues. The data collected includes speed, engine speed, steering wheel angle and whether the airbag was deployed. ADAC also states that recording takes place within a specified time window – five seconds before and 300 milliseconds after the crash.

While the data is stored locally in the vehicle and is generally the responsibility of the driver or owner, it can be retrieved using certain tools, such as via an interface or directly on the airbag control unit, ADAC continues. In certain cases, such as civil or criminal proceedings, a court or prosecutor may hire an expert to read the data to clarify how the accident occurred. However, EDR data should not be used as the sole source for accident reconstruction, but rather as a complementary element to the traces present at the scene of the accident and the damage to the vehicles involved, it is concluded.

D. Maier / finanzen.net editorial team

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