Consumer advocates call for private pension reform | free press

Berlin (dpa) – The consumer advice centers are calling for a comprehensive reform of private pension provision after the federal election.

The head of the Federal Association (vzbv), Klaus Müller, told the German News Agency: “Whatever the next government constellation looks like, there is a chance for a fresh start.” What is needed is a new offering that, for the first time, from a consumer point of view, is high efficiency, low cost and significantly better than Riester’s current offering.

Müller spoke of a tragedy: “The insurance sector sells products that are only reasonably lucrative because of the Riester subsidy, but otherwise far too unprofitable.” More and more customers decided not to store contracts anymore.

Efficient and cheap

Private services must be efficient and as cheap as possible. “Every tenth of a percentage point of the costs is a yield killer in 30 or 40 years and only leads to disappointment afterwards,” said the vzbv boss. A move to stock-based models makes sense, this is what studies by Stiftung Warentest, research institutes and experience abroad have shown: “If I have 25, 30, almost 40 years, it comes down to it being the most profitable and also the safest product is currently available. »

The consumer advice centers have long been promoting a government-organized standard product and have presented a concept for an ‘extra pension’. Employees should therefore automatically pay into the pension through their employer – unless they object to this. A government agency then has to instruct fund managers through tenders to invest the money in the capital market. It should be possible to waive sales charges and commissions.

Müller said there should be trust protection for current Riester contracts. The state must adhere to the financing obligations in the coming decades. But a change guarantee is also necessary. “Someone who has saved with Riester before should be given the opportunity to switch to this standard product.”

Pension remains basic security

The consumer advocate called it “a giant step forward” that the CDU/CSU, FDP, Greens and SPD campaigned for a new and better provision for consumers in the election manifestos. “There are differences in the details, but similar ideas in purpose.” At the same time, Müller emphasized, especially with regard to people on a tight budget: “You shouldn’t be naive. The statutory pension is the basic security for everyone.” It must remain the strong pillar of old-age provision and be strengthened, especially for consumers in the low-wage sector.

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