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11 changes in Germany effective from DECEMBER 2022

Living in Germany. Changes in Germany in December 2022. From December 1, changes in the law came into force in Germany that affect the lives of all residents. Here’s an overview of the most important regulations that have come into force:

In December 2022, millions of workers in Germany will receive some good luck. For many employees, the Christmas bonus is an important part of the annual salary. The differences in its amount depending on the industry are huge. However, it should be recalled that not every employee in Germany will receive it. Employers can decide at their discretion whether to pay it to employees. In some cases, however, the payout of thirteen is mandatory.

Energy lump sum for pensioners

€300 will be paid  by the German Pension Insurance (DRV). The lump sum will be paid  from December 1 to December 15, 2022 . Please note that  ONLY  people living in Germany are entitled to it . The energy lump sum will be paid to all persons who are entitled to a statutory old-age pension, disability pension or family pension, or old-age pension under the Civil Service Act or old-age pension for soldiers. We wrote about it here: Inflation allowance in Germany: From 800 to 1500 euro for pensioners and students


Germany: Cabinet approves 300 euro energy bonus for pensioners

Germany: 300 euro bonus. Who qualifies for the relief payment?

From 550 to 2500 euros in bonuses for carers and nurses

Nurses and employees of many hospitals and nursing homes should receive from 550 to 2,500 euros in  addition to their salaries  until  31 December 2022  .  It‘s about Pflegebonus 2022, also called the care bonus or covid bonus. The advantage of the bonus is that it is tax-free.

In order to provide a special bonus also in the third year of the pandemic to people who worked particularly hard and for a long time, the Federal Council passed an amendment to the Income Tax Act on June 10, 2022. The regulations entered into force on June 23, 2022.

Voluntary tax return for 2018

December 31st is the deadline for submitting voluntary tax returns for 2018. Completing a tax return in Germany is never a fun activity, but official statistics show that it is definitely worth doing. In 2017, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office, the average worker  received €1,051 in return  after submitting a tax return. Moreover, 90 percent  of employees in Germany  received at least some reimbursement from the tax office this year.

On December 8, all mobile phones will ring simultaneously in Germany

Wailing sirens and warning messages on your mobile phone – this is what the next nationwide Warning Day in Germany will look like on December 8, 2022.

At 11.00 am, authorities and emergency services will activate various warning devices, such as radio, television, digital information boards in cities and warning applications. A test high alert message will be sent to all mobile phones across the country for the first time.

The big advantage of the new method is that alerts can be sent to anyone. Regardless of whether the recipient has a regular mobile phone or smartphone, and even if the phone is on mute or switched to “do not disturb” mode.

The message is sent anonymously. People in  potentially dangerous areas  can also receive an alert on their mobile device without registering or logging in. we wrote about this here: All German citizens will receive the same SMS on this day at the same time.

These employees in Germany will receive up to 10,000 euros before Christmas

Due to increased rental costs, many federal states want to give their employees high allowances.  Around 1.7 million civil servants in these Länder will benefit from the rental subsidy.

The basis for the decision on high payments is the judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court of 2020. One of the officials questioned the insufficient increase in family allowance and the simultaneous increase in rental costs.

The Karlsruhe judges ruled that the state must always provide sufficient support to its civil servants, in line with the principle that higher housing costs should lead to higher child benefits. We wrote more about this in the article: Christmas bonus (Weihnachtsgeld) in Germany who’s entitled to it – and how much should it be?

One-time payment for gas and heating bill in Germany. Here’s who will benefit from government emergency aid

As a bridge to the introduction of the planned gas price brake from 2023, the German authorities will pay the gas and heating bill to 20 million consumers in December 2022.

READ MORE: Heating allowance in Germany: Who is entitled to it and when?

In Germany, train tickets will become significantly more expensive

Due to the change in the winter timetable, from December 11, 2022, Deutsche Bahn is increasing the prices of long-distance tickets by an average of 4.9 percent. The reason for such a large increase is rising inflation.

Flex-Ticket prices will increase by an average of 6.9 percent. The prices of BahnCard 25, 50 and 100 and time tickets will increase by an average of 4.9 percent. Tickets in the so-called, the super Super Sparpreis and Sparpreis will continue to be available from €17.90 and €21.50 respectively. Seat reservations will also still cost €4.50 in second class. Read more  HERE .

Pay increase for government officials

From December 2022, civil servants can expect a salary increase of 2.8 percent. This applies to more than one million workers covered by collective agreements. Trainees in the public sector are to receive an extra €50 per month, and in the health sector this will increase to €70.

Fireworks allowed again in Germany

For New Year’s Eve in 2020 and 2021, Germany introduced an official ban on the use of fireworks and firecrackers. This year, the ban was lifted. However, it is possible that individual cities in Germany may designate zones where the ban still applies.

Apple launches SOS emergency call via satellite

Apple has already rolled out the new “Emergency SOS via Satellite” feature in the US and Canada. From December, German users of iPhone 14 models will also be able to use this feature – which allows you to connect to emergency services even when neither cellular nor Wi-Fi coverage is available.

A new streaming service

Paramount Plus is a new streaming service that will launch in Germany on December 8 . According to an official press release, the streaming portal Paramount Global wants to “step into the pinnacle of streaming” in the meantime by releasing a huge number of hit TV shows and movies for €7.99 a month or €79.90 a year . The service will also be launched in Austria and Switzerland.