Walter Riester joined the SPD in 1966 and since 1998 he has been a member of the party's federal executive board. From 1993 to 1998 he was deputy chairman of the IG Metall. From 1998 to 2002 Riester was Minister of Labour and Social Affairs in the cabinet of the then Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The ministry was dissolved after the 2002 elections, so Riester was withdrawn from the cabinet, although there had been no change of government. His name is best known for the so-called Riester-Rente, a grant-aided privately funded pension scheme, which was created during his term of office.
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