GERMANY - A large majority of Germans are scared about their retirement provision and this fear is leading to "inefficient savings", Fidelity International has suggested.

In its most recent retirement barometer, Fidelity found 86% of Germans feel uneasy when thinking about their pension, and just 80% of the 4,000 workers interviewed have started saving for their pensions, the investment manager explained.

"With blind decisions made out of fear, people are missing return opportunities and their financial aims," said Klaus Mössle, CEO and head of the institutional business of Fidelity Germany.

He added Germans are mainly investing their money in safe products with low return.

Fidelity pointed out the use of occupational pension provision was still in its infancy in Germany compared to other European countries, as less than half of the German working population has a pension at their workplace compared to 59% in Sweden and 52% in the Netherlands.

"It is both up to employers and employees to widen the use of occupational pension provision," Mössle stressed.

But the willingness to take responsibility for one's own retirement provision is increasing. (See also earlier IPE story: Europeans "rely on occupational pension")

The German Postbank found in a survey the number of people prepared to trade off their "sacred" holiday travel for retirement provision is growing.

In this year's Postbank poll on retirement, 44% of the working population said they would waive travelling in order to use the money for a pension product, compared to 30% last year.

However, the German bank found huge differences in the willingness according to age groups, as while 49% of the 30 to 50-year-olds said they would, this dropped to just 41% of the 16 to 19-year-olds and only 30% of those 50+.

When asked what they would use their pension for the majority said "keeping up the current living standard" but travelling came second.