Home News Rip off or sensible precaution? The dispute over Riester

Rip off or sensible precaution? The dispute over Riester


Handelsblatt: On the sense and nonsense of the Riester pension is much disputed. The savers are confused. A recent study by the University of Bamberg has shown that consumers are not well informed about the costs of the contracts. Why the vendor does not make their contracts more transparent?

Niels Nauhauser, Federation of Baden-Württemberg: Why the vendor does not get better on the series, I’m frankly a mystery, because so complicated must indeed not be. Perhaps it also lacks the will?

Peter Schwark, General Association of German Insurers: In insurance products, the criticism is certainly not the case. Customers will be informed before signing the contract in a product information sheet on all the essential content of the contract. This includes information on the amount allowed for costs. This is also a legal requirement for insurance products. And just for insurance products are already the cost and terms of payment period completed. This has explicitly emphasized the study’s author.

Hermann Weinmann, pensions expert at Fachhochschule Ludwigshafen: It’s about high-margin business. Obscurity is intentional in order to complicate the comparison.

Insurance and fund savings plans are especially pleased marketed as "Riester contracts. These products are also the highest commissions. A coincidence?

Niels Nauhauser, Federation of Baden-Württemberg: Nein.Verkauft is that which exposes commission. Products that bring little, are not even on the store shelf. For savers, it would be best but have so little cost as possible, and instead, the highest possible pension. An example: As a young investor who saves an annual cost of two percent, can expect long term, twice as old age pension. In such contracts, the vendor but earn much less, so they are not sold.

Peter Schwark, General Association of German Insurers: It’s true that most banks do not offer Riester bank savings. In Berlin, for example, there is not a single offer. Economically is understandable, because they are factored in bank savings plans are not charged for the consultation. The elaborate indispensable in addressing the retirement preparedness of their individual customers needs and the individual demand-supply product solutions may not be economically amortized without payment of consideration by the product manufacturer. In contrast, the cost of insurance products provide customers with guidance and the contract have already been taken into account. Figuratively speaking, does not drive a car without wheels, even if it would become easier. Nor does product marketing advice without remuneration.

Hermann Weinmann, pensions expert at Fachhochschule LudwigshafenMoves: If the fees charges for life insurance and mutual funds Riester approached as a benchmark, one sees similarities in the amount of the cost burden. However, there are both ‘real’ suppliers and Gebührenschinder. This is not surprising because, although there are requirements for cost information, but not limited expenditure.

Good advice costs must be something. Consulting fees would be an alternative to commissions?

Niels Nauhauser, Federation of Baden-Württemberg: Of course, good advice may cost something. Only those who can claim to know whether he was well advised? To do so would have to be better educated than his adviser. To be friendly and offer consumers a cup of coffee, may satisfy the people seeking advice, but there is no indication of quality. Nor does the fee is a fee a guarantee of quality. You need a financial supervision, which ensures the quality of their work and consumers can rely on.

Peter Schwark, General Association of German Insurers: Risk protection and retirement are issues that people want to push on the back or eliminate altogether. Much depends, therefore, that the population is actively approached for their awareness and preparedness needs. The consultancy fee can not afford even logical, because they are just customers who know their needs already. All who are not the initiative itself, then remain without the necessary risk protection. Honorary advisory is in many cases also comparatively expensive. Why would anyone pay such a market hourly rate for 100 to 200 euros to take out liability insurance? Honorarberatung is therefore attractive, particularly for wealthy clients. In addition, consulting fees also problematic incentives. The fee does not depend on success. The consultant’s major interest in as many events and consulting hours, but the fact that the customer has agreed in the end a contract and thus concluded his coverage gap.

Hermann Weinmann, pensions expert at Fachhochschule LudwigshafenWho ever traditional or fee-based financial advice has been provided, is always aware of that can be passed, despite all the care the results expected from reality. Under this premise, that does not successfully advance fee and commission advice is bad advice may be a qualified consulting fees consulting approach.

What should a customer who finds that his contract will cost high fees? Is it worth the change to a different tariff or change to another provider?

Niels Nauhauser, Federation of Baden-Württemberg: Indeed, we recommend to our discussions quite often, because it makes sense in specific cases. Knowing a blanket recommendation to change without the agreement or the specific situation of the investor, would be frivolous.

Peter Schwark, General Association of German Insurers: A change should always be carefully considered, because often incur new costs. Consider: Back and forth makes empty pockets. It is important when comparing the cost of long term contracts, the cost in effect to understand. Ten percent of each contribution as expense over 30 years of a reduction in the yield of less than 0.6 percent. On the other hand represent 1.2 percent management fee on capital per year, a return loss of 1.2 percent. At first glance, the cheaper product is therefore twice as expensive. Insurance products that would be more expensive with their contribution-cost system than about the capital-related costs, the funding system savings accounts – as is often claimed – is just typical of pensions in the long term wrong. Also to bank savings plans, the interest is about 1.5 percent lower than the long-term capital market interest rates, the costs are hidden in the interest margin. What is more, is priced insurance products only in the pension phase already. For cost comparisons, this must be taken into account.

Hermann Weinmann, pensions expert at Fachhochschule Ludwigshafen: Not long ago one could read that monkeys can count. I can only recommend to count first and then decide in the light of the possible consequences. Here I see a field for the consultancy fee.

Where there is Riester still needs improvement?

Niels Nauhauser, Federation of Baden-Württemberg: The Riester pension was originally intended to compensate a lower state pension. This goal could be achieved much more efficiently by giving consumers the opportunity to choose a very inexpensive and scientific knowledge for investment-oriented product. One such product is available in the market not because it is the provider does not yield the desired returns. Therefore, the state is required. Our Scandinavian neighbors have proven that it is possible.

Peter Schwark, General Association of German Insurers: With regard to the demographic development is an urgent reinvigoration of the Riester eligibility limits are required. Riester contributions should be encouraged as in the salary at the rate of four per cent of the income threshold in the statutory pension insurance, ie about 2 600 euros per year. The policy is so sure that the Riester subsidy auszehrt not until retirement, but with the income and increasing inflation. Of Riester customers benefit first, in the accumulation phase, since they can make provisions more tax relief and secondly, in the pension phase, because they can connect better the later threat of supply shortage.

Hermann Weinmann, pensions expert at Fachhochschule Ludwigshafen: The legislature is also in the government-subsidized pensions to the ‘apple-section rates’ too. Just as in restaurants at least one non-alcoholic drink is not to dispense more expensive than the cheapest alcoholic drink, in addition, providers should be required to offer at least one product in each category, whose calculation is based on state standards and in terms of ‘pollutants’ risk and costs is limited. If the consumer knows that all providers will calculate the same, a piece made of mistrust that results from the impenetrable fog of marketing and product diversity to prevent inevitable preparedness.

For whom is worth a Riester contract at all?

Niels Nauhauser, Federation of Baden-Württemberg: It would be wrong to claim any reward for such an agreement. Many vendors provide such high-cost prices that support this can not compensate. Who closes a Riester pension should take only the best and well-tested offerings. Ultimately, this question can be answered only in individual cases to the specific situation out.

Peter Schwark, General Association of German Insurers: Basically, is it worth to Riester pension for anyone who has a claim on state delivery rates. This is also the preparedness experts point out the magazine Financial Test. These include all compulsory insured in the statutory scheme, civil servants, public workers, apprentices, civil and military duty as well as recipients of unemployment benefits. Particularly attractive are the state subsidies for low income and families. On average, the allowance rate is 30 percent. In addition, the State makes every Riester savings and tax benefits.

Hermann Weinmann, pensions expert at Fachhochschule Ludwigshafen: Riester is particularly true for social insurance. Riester is a must for everyone to compensate for the already-decided by the legislature cuts in pensions.

What products would you recommend, depending on age or income?

Niels Nauhauser, Federation of Baden-Württemberg: Product Selection neither the income nor age is particularly relevant, but the risk-taking, personal investment objectives (eg, option on real estate acquisition) and the convenience of the investor. Of unit-linked annuity, consumers should be due to the high cost of the fingers, are often simple bank savings fund or savings plans interesting.

Peter Schwark, General Association of German Insurers: In which product version is chosen by a customer who depends on his risk appetite. Who in his early years a Riester contract finishes, can with sufficient risk-taking with a unit-linked Riester pension from the opportunities in the capital market and thus benefit from a higher return. Interim losses can be offset by retirement because of the very long term. The premiums paid are guaranteed. For classical Riester pension decide especially security-conscious customers, who rely on their pensions at predictable care. For in the case of a crash, the surpluses have been credited to safely and will continue to accrue interest.

Hermann Weinmann, pensions expert at Fachhochschule Ludwigshafen: There is no general recommendation. With savings plans, retirement / pension fund savings and bank deals with the subjective attitude towards risk and the capacity to absorb risks in relation to the actual screening results. Who that living in a self-occupied property as an axiom of life ‘view, is certainly at some point for the residential Riester interesting. But these are crucial to long term retirement costs. When the industry for the investment performance takes advantage of the compounding effect, it must also take the costs at their word can be, because these cause the effect of compound interest in reverse.