Although nearly six out of ten Germans expect to be paid but a very small pension, only 15 percent pay into a private retirement scheme. This is the upshot of a representative survey the pollster Forsa conducted on behalf of the Bank of Scotland. Striking to note, many of the poll respondents held conflicting views regarding suitable ways to prepare for old age: Barely eight percent considered the government-subsidised pension plan a sensible proposition. But 28 percent take advantage of it nonetheless.
One in Three Consider Property Ownership an Effective Retirement Scheme
Property ownership was considered the most effective retirement scheme by 35 percent of the respondents. One in two respondents has taken out a private life and annuity insurance policy, but only 21 percent of the total consider it a sensible thing to do. Third place among the most effective retirement schemes went to company pension plans. 13 percent of the respondents thought them safe, while 33 percent said they actually take advantage of them. Next in line were stocks and investment funds, as six percent of the poll participants find them effective and no less than 20 percent actually own equities and fund shares. Bullion, savings accounts, overnight deposits and time deposits were rated as the least effective way to prepare for old age. Less than three percent of the respondents have chosen these for their retirement schemes.
Old-Age Provision often Neglected out of Carelessness or for Lack of Funds
The main reason for the contradiction between the views held by the respondents and their actual choices of retirement schemes is simply the force of habit. This is confirmed by the way the respondents handle large amounts of money: 62 percent admitted to the habit of leaving large amounts in their current accounts rather than investing them in more profitable ways. Out of those who are not paying into a private pension plan at all, 57 percent cited lack of disposable funds as their reason. 29 percent consider themselves too old to start paying into a private pension scheme, whereas another 14 percent said they felt too young to start doing so.