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Die Riester-Kritik: Fachlich fundiert oder politisch motiviert?


  • Peter Schwark


Critics accuse so called Riester products of having excessive costs and being unprofitable due to excessive life expectancy assumptions. The author examines the validity of the criticism, highlighting the methodological limitations of the studies. Thus, due to the individually differentiated Riester bonuses comparisons of product costs and granted bonuses do not allow generalized statements. The author shows that, with proper analysis, attractive yields can be expected, even without subsidies. Moreover, it is shown that the key figure used by the DIW, the "target age for target profitability", is generally inappropriate, not at least because it neglects the participation in risk-surpluses. Finally, inconsistency in the communication of the DIW study is analyzed, which highlights the individual profitability from a consumer perspective, even though the study examines economic efficiency at the level of the society as a whole. Consequently, a highly distorted picture of individual returns for the Riester-Rente products was presented to the public. Der Riester-Rente wird von Kritikern vorgeworfen, sie habe zu hohe Kosten und sei wegen überhöhter Lebenserwartungsannahmen unrentabel. Der Autor untersucht die fachliche Stichhaltigkeit der veröffentlichten Kritik und arbeitet die methodischen Grenzen der durchgeführten Untersuchungen heraus. So ermöglichen Vergleiche zwischen Produktkosten und gewährten Zulagen angesichts der individuell differenzierten Förderintensitäten keine verallgemeinerungsfähigen Aussagen. Der Verfasser zeigt, dass bei richtiger Analyse attraktive Renditen der Produkte schon ohne Förderung nachweisbar sind und dass die vom DIW Berlin verwendete alternative Rentabilitätskennziffer "Zielalter für eine Zielrendite" für Aussagen über die Rentabilität von Vorsorgeprodukten ungeeignet ist, unter anderem weil die Beteiligung an den Risikoüberschüssen dabei unbeachtet bleibt. Zuletzt wird die Widersprüchlichkeit in der Kommunikation zur DIW-Studie analysiert, die die individuelle Rentabilität aus Verbrauchersicht in den Vordergrund stellt, obwohl die Studie vorgeblich allein die ökonomische Effizienz auf der Ebene der Gesellschaft untersucht und so in der Öffentlichkeit ein stark verzerrtes Bild zur individuellen Rentabilität der Riester-Produkte erzeugt.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Schwark, 2012. "Die Riester-Kritik: Fachlich fundiert oder politisch motiviert?," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 81(2), pages 71-90.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:81-2-6

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    Cited by:

    1. Kornelia Hagen, 2012. "Dokumentation der Diskussionsbeiträge auf dem Workshop des DIW Berlin zum Thema "Riester-Rente - Grundlegende Reform dringend geboten!?": [Online-Artikel]," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 81(2), pages 280-311.

    More about this item


    Riester pension scheme; private old-age provision; rate of return; life expectancy; regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions


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