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The development of the pension gap and German households’ saving behavior

The development of the pension gap and German households’ saving behavior

New MEA Discussion Paper published

Munich, November 2016 (First version: March/April, 2016). In this study we investigate the future development of the so-called pension gap. First, we simulate the pension gap and the filling of this gap under different assumptions for the so-called “standard pensioner”. Second, we examine the savings behavior of German households and the individual possibilities to close the pension gap. We use data from the SAVE panel, a representative longitudinal data set on households' financial behavior, and from SHARE-RV data, the German sub-sample of the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe that has been developed in cooperation with the German Pension Fund (Gesetzliche Rentenversicherung). The projections for the “standard pensioner” as well as the calculations based on household data show that a funded supplementary pension can buffer the future reductions of the public pensions to some degree:  On average, households can fill the pension gap even if the interest rates remain on a low level. However, current low interest rates make it difficult for some households to completely close the gap. Households which cannot achieve this goal because of their low savings rates are present among all income and educational groups.

Please find here the MEA Discussion Paper 02-2016 (PDF) for download (in English).