Germany Snapshot

  • Germans become more optimistic about retirement finances as they age
  • Spending expectations of workers during retirement roughly matches the spending reality of retirees
  • The only certainty about the pension system is change

Frank Becker
Head of SSGA Germany and Austria

Change. That is all we know for sure about the future of Germany’s pension system following the new regulations on occupational pensions, known as the Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz (BRSG) enacted in 2017.

In the midst of this, how can we build trust to create happier retirees? To find out, we sought the views of workers and retirees about their journey to and through retirement.

Here are two key findings from our 2018 Global Retirement Reality Report survey, focusing on how the expectations of German workers saving for retirement compare to the realities of thosealready in retirement.

Optimism about one’s financial situation in retirement increases with age

In Germany, only 12% of the working population is optimistic about their retirement finances, but this improves with age. For those later in retirement, more than three-tenths are optimistic. This progressive improvement is a common  finding across the eight countries surveyed.

Saving for a rainy day is high on the priority list

After paying for regular essentials and going on holidays, saving for a rainy day came next on the list of where workers expect to spend their retirement savings, possibly a function of the sense of unknown that accompanies the looming  reforms. Indeed, this priority to save was higher for German workers than for pre-retirees from every other country surveyed.

The spending expectations of workers roughly match the experience of retirees, with the priority list being very similar between them.


What does the changing pension system mean for sponsors, schemes and the wider industry when helping members to achieve better retirement outcomes? We will get a better understanding of that as the system matures. 

To read the German-language country report, contact


This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance, and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected.

The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. Investing involves risk, including the risk of loss of principal. The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without SSGA’s express written consent.

Diversification does not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss. 

State Street Global Advisors Global Entities

© 2019 State Street Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


Exp: July31, 2020