Germany’s industry-wide pension fund MetallRente has warned that German citizens are under the “illusion” they would be covered by a state pension if they were no longer to carry out their learned profession. 

According to a survey conducted by the research institute Kantar Public on behalf of MetallRente, 50% of Germans believe this to be the case. 

This view is even more pronounced within the younger generation, with almost 60% of those aged between 14 and 29 assuming the government will grant support if they are no longer able to carry out their profession. 

MetallRente said only a minority of people understood the difference between no longer being able to carry out their profession (Berufsunfähigkeit) and no longer being able to work in any job at all, or only for a limited amount of time (Erwerbsfähigkeit). Only 36% of those surveyed were aware that employees had to continue to look for a job if they could no longer continue in their learned profession for health reasons.

Germany used to have a occupational disability pension (Berufsunfähigkeitsrente), but this was replaced in 2001 by the Erwerbsminderungsrente, to which only those are able to work for fewer than six or three hours per day are entitled.

According to Deutsche Rentenversicherung, the administrator of Germany’s state pension scheme, the average work incapacity pension in 2019 was €835 per month.

“Our survey shows that many people still trust only the state safety net, with fatal consequences: too few take additional precautions and therefore can get into financial hardship in an emergency,” said Heribert Karch, chief executive officer at MetallRente.

Howver, Germans seemed to understand that state benefits may not be sufficient. The vast majority (71%) of those surveyed realised they needed to make additional provisions in order to be financially secure in the event of occupational disability or reduced earnings capacity.

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