The right to claim deferred compensation for occupational pensions in Germany is still limited to a restricted pool of people after almost 20 years from its introduction in 2002, according to a study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DWI Berlin).
According to the research, claims of deferred compensation depend on gender, education, weekly working hours and geography, among other factors.
Only 15.83% of women opt for deferred compensation compared to 21.30% of men, and highly-qualified people with a degree (27.52%) or with a PhD (22.30%) are more likely to claim deferred compensation compared to employees with lower qualifications or without further education (7.76%).
The amount of contributions paid for deferred compensation is higher for men at €1,466 per year than for women (€1,128). Employees pay on average €1,328 yearly for deferred compensation claims.
The share of employees claiming deferred compensation is higher in the western part of Germany (19.30%) compared to the eastern (15.66%).
The number of employees who choose deferred compensation increases in relation to age, with 22.06% of people aged 45-54 years old opting for deferred compensation, compared to 8.64% of the people aged 18-24 years old.
The spread of deferred compensation options among employees also depends on the weekly working hours and the size of the employers, according to the study.
For example, employees who work between 35-40 weekly hours are more likely to claim deferred compensation (26.42%) than those who have part-time, low wage jobs (0.58%), or even those who work 20-35 weekly hours (16.64%).
In companies with 500-999 employees, 25.43% choose deferred compensation compared to smaller companies with 50-249 employees (19.74%) or 10-49 employees (14.83%).
The financial sector has recorded the highest share of employees with deferred compensation claims at 56.24%, followed by the manufacturing sector (28.73%) and energy supply sector at 28.40%.
The study noted that public financial incentives, particularly for low-wage earners, could be reinforced to motivate employees to opt for deferred compensation.
Employees pay an average of 2.4% of their annual income for deferred compensation, with women paying a slightly larger amount (2.7%) of their income compared to men (2.3%), according to the study.
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