17/05/2016

Opinion: Poor Young, poor old

The current generation of pensioners in Germany are the wealthiest of all time. But younger generations aren't in a great position to save for retirement. And that's unlikely to change, says DW's Manuela Kasper-Claridge.


Imagine that you're 35 years old and just beginning to think about financial planning for the future. You'd like to do some travelling, maybe buy a car, and have some cash left to slip your grandchildren a few bucks every now and then.

Forget it. All that's just an illusion. Your grandkids are going to be supporting you! That's the bitter reality. From 2030 on, one in two retired Germans will be in danger of slipping below the poverty line. That's according to a recent study by the German state broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Pensions won't be high enough to maintain a good standard of living. After 2030, monthly pensions will amount to just about 43.5 percent of the average wage a worker earned over his or her entire career.

That's how the state plans to say "Thank you" after all those years of hard work. This isn't only upsetting, it's infuriating. What kind of country takes so much from the plates of its youngest generations, only to give out table scraps to the elderly?

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