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Mar 22, 8:39 AM EDT

Germans see rising pensions as wages increase

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BERLIN (AP) -- The German government says pensions will rise by up to 3.6 percent this year as a result of higher wages in Europe's biggest economy.

The Labor Ministry said Wednesday that pensions will increase by 1.9 percent in the former West Germany on July 1 and 3.6 percent in the formerly communist east. That will narrow the gap between the two regions, with easterners' pensions rising to 95.7 percent of westerners' from the current 94.1 percent.

Rises in German pensions are linked to wage developments. Salaries have been rising faster in the east than in the more prosperous west, which is home to most of Germany's population.

Draft legislation calls for pensions in the east to be increased to the level of those in the west by mid-2024.

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