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German roundup: Gothaer, Standard Life, Union

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  • German roundup: Gothaer, Standard Life, Union

GERMANY - Only 38% of Germans are using second-pillar pension schemes, life insurance company Gothaer has found.

The survey of more than 1,000 workers found that approximately half of people between the ages of 40 and 49 use occupational pension schemes, while in the 30-39 age group the quota falls to 42%.

Maike Gruhn, retirement provision expert at Gothaer, said: "Many employees do not even know they have a legal right to occupational pension provision."

This confirms findings from another recent study saying that employers are not doing enough to inform their staff about possibilities for pension provision.

Meanwhile, Standard Life Germany has found that close to 60% of Germans are saving for their retirement either in the second or third pillar.

Around half of those are only using one vehicle for their retirement provision, 38% are using two and only 14% more than that.

Bertram Valentin, managing director of Standard Life Germany, said: "Our study shows that most people are aware you should not put all your eggs into one basket when it comes to retirement provision, but unfortunately only half of them are acting on it."

Around 45% of those who have not diversified their retirement provision noted they did not have the means to do so, but 24% said they saw no need to.

Lastly, Union Investment has noted an interesting trend in its quarterly survey on retirement provision.

Since the third quarter of 2007, the share of men thinking that pensions are an important issue has continuously shrunk from 75% to 67% - with only a minor reversal of the trend at year-end 2009.

Among women, the willingness to deal with the subject has increased again to 78% after a dip to 70% in the first quarter and is now back just over the 2007 level of 77%.

The drop in interest among men cannot be explained by the fact they are already well provided for, Union stressed.

Looking at the state-subsidised third-pillar pension scheme - the so-called Riester-Rente - only 39% of men have signed such a contract, while 48% of women have followed suit.

The highest 'coverage' of Riester-contracts can be found among young people aged between 20 and 29, with more than half in this age group having started saving in this vehicle.

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