I won’t get much more than €1200 when I retire, nor will you

Every year in the spring, I get post from the “Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund”, providing information about my future state pension. What the letter says is scary.

First of all, it reminds me that I will have to work until 2037 (I will be 67 by then) to get my full pension. OK, I like working, but can I really trust the state that 2037 stays 2037, and doesn’t become 2040 (I will then be 70), or 2045 (I will then be 75)? Hardly, because there is still plenty of time for future governments to change the rules of the game until then.

And they will! The German population is stagnating, and getting older and older (the current median age is 47, i.e. 50% of the population is older than 47…). So there will be more pensioners, and fewer people in work. So the state won’t be able to keep its promise: pensions are paid by people in work, nobody else.