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

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