Dhe Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg spends around 2.5 million euros per month from license fees on the so-called “pension” that former top officials of the station receive. This was the result of research by “Welt am Sonntag”. As a result, 17 RBB alumni are currently receiving retirement benefits for the rest of their lives, in addition to their pensions. The controversial pension is a specialty under public law. The pension is paid after leaving office. A labor lawyer interviewed by “Welt am Sonntag” considers the relevant contracts to be “immoral”. The contracts are “incompatible with the principles of public service” and may be seen as “disloyalty to the detriment of the broadcaster and the contributors”.
The list of pension recipients compiled by “WamS” is long and includes well-known names. The former RBB director Dagmar Reim, for example, is said to have initially received 14,000 euros per month after she left in 2016, but now it is almost 16,000 euros. A former director of Sender Freies Berlin (SFB), the predecessor of RBB, who was only in office for three years, draws a pension of 157,000 euros a year, while his salary was 138,000 euros when he was active. A former television director, who has been in his post for five years, receives a pension of 7,000 euros per month. The former RBB production director Nawid Goudarzi gets a pension of 10,700 euros per month. The former program director Claudia Nothelle, who is now a professor of television journalism at the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences, has now taken around half a million euros in pension with her. The RBB magazine “Contrasts” recently announced her case, as well as that of the former director. The widow of a director who died 34 years ago received a monthly pension of almost 9,500 euros in 2021, it said.
The pension recipients did not want to comment on the newspaper’s request. Research by NDR, among other things, revealed that pensions are a specialty of RBB, but not just common there. For example, pensions are paid – for life – at MDR and ZDF. The former HR director is entitled to a pension of 220,000 euros a year. At ZDF, the director and all five directors of the station would be entitled to a pension. At the NDR there is this for the director and his deputy, but only until retirement age.
The new director of the RBB, Katrin Vernau, had recently made a “cash crash”. If RBB continues to do business as before, positive liquidity of 160 million euros from 2016 will turn into a minus of 174 million euros in 2028, the director had calculated. In order to stop the process, RBB wants to save 41 million euros by the end of 2024.