GERMANY - The more German employees earn and the closer they get to retirement the more they value supplementary pension arrangements at their workplace, Watson Wyatt Heissmann found out.

In an online survey of 8,500 employees across all age, wage and industry brackets, the consultancy asked interviewees to rank 50 workplace benefits including pensions.

Overall, employer-financed retirement provision got fifth place behind general training courses, including computer knowledge or languages, alongside flexible working hours, work-specific training courses and regular assessment talks with superiors.

Self-financed retirement provision, for example via converting parts of the salary into contributions, only came 10th in that study.

But Watson Wyatt Heissmann found for both types of workplace pension these benefits were valued more by people with higher incomes and closer to retirement.

While only 10% of all interviewees said they were "not interested" in employer-financed pension provision,  the share of those who said they "would love to have it" increased from 56% among the 20 to 30 year-olds to 62% among the 51 to 60 year-olds, Watson Wyatt calculated for IPE.

The rest said it would be "okay" if it was offered at their workplace.

Only 59% of Germans earning €20,000 to €30,000 p.a gave pensions the highest ranking but among those with €80,000 or more per year the figure climbs to 70%.

The findings related to self-financed pensions were similar.

Watson Wyatt noted the answers did not differ greatly among men and women or people with a different marital status.

However, the types of industry they work in did have an impact as two-thirds (67%) of employees in the banking sector valued occupational pension provision most while only 53% of those in consultancies gave it the highest rank.

And among people with educational backgrounds, rWatson Wyatt Heissmann found those individuals in apprenticeships or other vocational training valued pensions more than academics.

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