When selling goods to consumers, sellers will meet numerous new obligations from January 1, 2022. The focus is on, among other things, an update obligation for sellers of goods with digital elements such as smart watches, but also a stricter warranty law. You can find an overview of the changes in sales law here .
Minimum wage rises
Those who are paid according to the minimum wage can look forward to higher income from January 1, 2022. The minimum wage will then rise from the previous EUR 9.60 to EUR 9.82 per hour. 6 months later, on July 1, 2022, the minimum wage will then be raised again. Then the employer has to pay at least 10.45 euros per hour.
Families are relieved financially
Families will have more financial relief from 2022. This is to be done, among other things, by means of a higher basic tax allowance and shifting the key values of the tax rate.
The Family Relief Act, for example, ensures that the basic tax-free allowance will continue to rise in 2022. This will then be 9,984 euros in the new year. The increase is intended to ensure the tax exemption of the subsistence level.
The top tax rate of 45 percent is only payable from a taxable income of 274,613 euros in the assessment period 2021 and from 270,501 euros in 2022.
Lowering the guaranteed interest rate
As of January 1, 2022, the guaranteed interest rate will be reduced from 0.9 percent to 0.25 percent. This value is particularly relevant for life insurance. As a result of the lowering of the value, insurance companies in particular get into trouble. We see particularly serious consequences for new Riester contracts (which we have not recommended since they existed). Otherwise these would be unattractive for savers and insurers. Own contributions and state allowances must be 100 percent guaranteed with the Riester model. This is required by law and puts insurers in a mess. If they are only allowed to calculate with 0.25 percent interest, it is difficult for them to guarantee this and at the same time to cover their costs, which make up up to ten percent of the contributions. The same applies to certain contracts for company pension schemes, namely the contribution commitment with a minimum benefit.
Other insurances that will suffer from the guaranteed interest rate cut with increased premiums are: life insurance, occupational disability insurance (BU) and term life insurance. We expect premiums to rise by up to 15 percent and recommend that everyone think about their pension plans this year.
Changes in road traffic
In order to sustainably reduce the number of accidents and road users involved in road traffic accidents, the EU will prescribe numerous other assistance systems in cars from 2022. It should gradually become safer in road traffic. Therefore, some assistance systems are mandatory for new cars. Some systems are also mandatory for vans, buses and trucks.
Lowering the voting age in works council elections
With the harmonization with “Voting from 16” in the works council election, a longstanding requirement will now be implemented in 2022. In companies with a works council, employees from the age of 16 can vote. Previously, the age limit was 18 years. However, anyone who wants to be elected to the works council must still be at least 18 years old.