News"Generous" regulation at ARD, ZDF and Co.: Up to...

"Generous" regulation at ARD, ZDF and Co.: Up to 180,000 euros pension

Created: 10/26/2022, 12:25 p.m

Mikrofone von ARD und ZDF liegen vor einer Pressekonferenz auf einem Tisch.
Executives at public broadcasters such as ARD or ZDF are secured with millions of euros. (Iconic image) © Christian Charisius/dpa

Many executives from ARD and ZDF are entitled to six-figure pensions, which cost the stations millions of euros. This emerges from an NDR research.

Hamburg – Some public broadcasters protect their executives with large sums. If the contracts of the artistic directors or directors are not extended before retirement age, they would be entitled to a six-figure pension per year. This is the result of research by the NDR .

In some cases, the regulation applies for life, and some are even entitled to a pension after just one working day in a management position, NDR reports on Tuesday (October 25). The ARD subsidiary broadcaster rbb was given as an example.

Managers at ARD and ZDF: Lifelong entitlement to a six-digit annual pension

According to the NDR research team, they had access to the service contract of the rbb program director. Literally it says there: “The pension amounts to 45 percent of the basic salary on the day the contract actually begins and increases by one percentage point with each additional year of service completed up to the maximum limit of 60 percent of the last contractually agreed basic salary.” With a basic salary of 215,000 euros, there is accordingly 8,000 euros a month after just one working day, reports the NDR . In addition, the current program director of rbb would be entitled to an annual six-digit pension for life, even if the contract is not extended.

Foundation: 1950 Foundation: 1961
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Subsidiaries: Westdeutscher Rundfunk Cologne, Hessischer Rundfunk, Deutsche Welle, Degeto Film Subsidiary: ZDF Studios

The MDR is also supposed to provide its executives with similarly generous protection. As the NDR research also shows, the broadcaster set aside more than 15 million euros to provide for its top management. If the MDR separates from managers, they will continue to receive their salary for the remaining term of their contract. Then there is – regardless of age – a pension, even if a contract is simply not extended.

There are also generous regulations for management staff at ZDF. The director and all five directors would receive a life pension should their contract expire or not be renewed and retirement was a long way off. However, for reasons of data protection, ZDF did not provide any further details.

At the NDR there is also a pension regulation in the event of premature termination of the contract or after the regular end of the contract. However, it only applies to the director and the deputy and only up to retirement age.

Pension at ARD and ZDF: Some broadcasters have abolished the regulation

It is different at Hessischer Rundfunk: According to the NDR , the current hr director no longer has a pension regulation in his contract. However, when he left, his predecessor still had claims of a six-digit sum of around 180,000 euros a year. According to the NDR , the pension regulations at BR, SWR and WDR were abolished a few years ago. Saarländischer Rundfunk and Deutschlandradio have no such regulations for their top management.

The broadcasters justify the regulations with the fact that there are often no positions available for members of their management after the contracts have expired, to which they can then fall back as planned. The agreements are based on regulations on temporary retirement in the public sector. (hg)

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