GERMANY - Almost half of people interviewed in a recent poll think the current financial crisis will weaken the state pension system but only 12% fear a negative influence on occupational pensions.

A poll by the German pension research institute DIA suggested people are worried the turbulent investment markets render the state pension system unstable - backing earlier research by DIA about heightened risk in the first pillar. (See earlier IPE story: State pension no longer safe bet, finds DIA)

One fourth of the 1,000 Germans interviewed also said they feared their private retirement provision will be affected by the crisis.

In total, people's confidence about having enough money at retirement to maintain their current lifestyles has decreased considerably over the last three years as 73% (compared to 37% in 2005) now fear they will have to cut back at retirement.

Interestingly, however, this has led to a slight increase in the number of people questioned who said they are willing to put aside money for their retirement.

At least 22% (compared to 18% in 2006) said they will start saving privately "within the next 12 months".

While more than half of those interviewed in January 2006 said they were certain to have done enough for their retirement provision, this number has now fallen to 36%.

"But this change of mind has so far not shown in the business figures of financial services institutions," pointed out the DIA.

In a separate survey by DB Immobilien, 70% of Germans said they still think a property is the best retirement provision - if they are talking about the subject at all. (See earlier IPE story: German DB losses lessened by bond rates)

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