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Optimistic youth fail to prepare for old age

The Local · 2 May 2013, 16:17

Published: 02 May 2013 16:17 GMT+02:00

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Despite being faced with an ever-rising retirement age and complicated pension politics, Germans aged 17 to 27 are a glass-half-full bunch, regional paper the Frankfurter Rundschau reported.

Almost a third if the 2,500 people interviewed told pollsters they didn't think they'd ever be unemployed. And while most of them said they did have concerns about their pension, not the same amount said they were taking steps to secure one.

The study “Youth Foresight. Finances of the generation internship to old age poverty" was carried out by head of industrial pension firm Metallrente, Heribert Karch and youth researcher Klaus Hurrelmann.

The results were compared to results collated in 2009, when 90 percent said they were confident about the future. Over the past three years, this figure jumped up a further five percentage points.

“It could definitely be said that such an optimistic generation has seldom been seen,” said Hurrelmann, who added that he was concerned that the number of young people taking active steps to save for retirement outside Germany's minimal obligatory state pension, had dropped since 2009.

The Berlin-based professor said the numbers suggested young people had little confidence that savings or pension payments would be safe for the next 40 years. Instead, he added, they were more likely to spend their cash on studying or travelling.

Both authors are calling for a change to how people save for retirement. Tailored savings funds, possibly set up by employers, should be made mandatory. Expecting young people to plan so far ahead independently was, they said, unrealistic.

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The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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