German retirement savers are increasingly responding to major trends. They are increasingly taking into account both years of low interest rates and inflation in their decisions, as can be seen from the 2023 pension report of the insurer Swiss Life.

Philipp Krohn

Editor in the economy, responsible for "People and Economy".

  • Follow I follow

Compared to the past decade, they are starting to save earlier and are more open to stocks and real estate, which can be used to generate higher returns. "We know that people have to start early if they want to make up for the deficits they will have in old age," says Jörg Arnold, head of Germany at the insurer. Within a decade, the age at which the first investment was made has fallen by 1.5 years to 35.4 years.

"I can still see the picture in front of me, how moved I was that there was more money in the savings account," he says. Younger people miss this experience, which has made them more open to stocks. "Low interest rates have made a major contribution to this." In view of inflation, customers of Swiss Life's financial advisory services have increased their savings contribution by 11 per cent compared with the previous year.

The younger generation is no longer afraid of equities and real estate. Among 16- to 30-year-olds, there has been growth of 454 percent in the investments segment over the past decade, according to the insurer's survey. However, the trend towards sustainable investments, which is widely reported in the media, cannot yet be seen in figures. "On many financial issues, people rarely become active on their own, but need to be sensitized. There are still too few products that are significantly sustainable," says Arnold.