Four in five Germans ‘concerned about retirement’

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Four in five Germans ‘concerned about retirement’
Ruhestand - Germans are concerned about their retirement years. Image: DPA

Germans' biggest worry is how they will provide for themselves once they retire from work, a new study has revealed.


Just under 80 percent of respondents in the study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said they were concerned about how they would fund their pension years – making it the predominant fear of those surveyed, reported Spiegel.

SEE ALSO: 5 things to know about retirement in Germany

Germany, with an ageing population, has the lowest birthrate in Europe, leading to concerns that the taxable section of the population will be too small to cater to the demands of retiring baby boomers. 

SEE ALSO: How to maximize your German pension – even if you plan to retire elsewhere

Biggest fears

The study sought to determine the biggest fears and concerns in several OECD countries for now and the future. 

A total of 76 percent of respondents said they were worried about providing for themselves during retirement. Just over half (51 percent) said they were concerned about disability and illness.

Crime and violence was a concern for 47 percent of the population, while 43 percent were worried about financial difficulties in the short-term. 

SEE ALSO: Should people without children be forced to pay more tax in Germany?


The survey also sought to gain an insight into possible solutions. 

According to respondents in Germany, increases in tax were the clear way to solve the issue. Three quarters of those surveyed were in favour of higher taxes on the rich, while just under half (45 percent) said they would be willing to pay higher taxes. 

Photo: DPA

In addition to taxing the rich to fund retirement programs, the respondents also indicated that the rich should take on a greater share of the burden in helping the poorer sections of society. 

Attitudes to government

While there were many similarities in the findings across the 21 other OECD countries surveyed, there were also significant differences. 

In total, 78 percent of respondents in Germany said the government should do more to help individuals economically and socially in their retirement age. 

Nine in ten Greek respondents however thought the government should do more, while less than half of French and Danish respondents felt that the government should take on a bigger role. 

The survey interviewed 22,000 people in two batches throughout 2018 across 21 members of the OECD, including Germany, Israel, Mexico and the United States.

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