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Austrian study on retirement planning and “Pensionskonto Neu” (new pension account) 2015

  • 9 out of 10 believe personal advice to be important with respect to retirement planning
  • Almost every third respondent is disappointed with the first amount credited to their pension account
  • Every second respondent wants their advisor to calculate the retirement gap

Financial provisions continue to have very high priority for Austrians, as 8 out of 10 believe their personal cushion of provisions to be of great importance. For 60% their pension is paramount, every second person sets money aside for health care or provides for the family. Based on the motto “safety before return”, the choice of products is accordingly conservative: 69% use a savings account, 52% a building savings contract. 4 out of 10 make provisions by taking out a private casualty insurance policy or a traditional life insurance policy. Government-sponsored pension plans have been entered into by 27% of respondents. Safety of the investment is especially relevant (53%), as well as capital guarantees (44%). Only around one third (30%) of respondents regard high returns as decisive in retirement provision. “These results represent a clear confirmation for us, as especially with respect to safety and guarantees, life insurance polices continue to be the main choice of customers. No other product currently offers similar long term safeguards and thereby makes a financially predictable retirement possible”, says Heinz Schuster, chairman of the board of s-Versicherung (s-Insurance).

Personal advice in retirement planning important for the majority of respondents
If a pension provision product is to be entered into, personal contact and individual advice are highly popular: For every second respondent, a bank advisor is the first point of contact, for one quarter it is an insurance advisor. 12% are prepared to pick a retirement provision product online. 3 of 4 Austrians would take out a life insurance policy or a pension provision product only in conjunction with a personal consultation. “Personal contact with an advisor is important when the topic is long term financial planning. However, when it comes to simpler products – such as e.g an insurance policy for one’s mobile phone or tablet – no customer wants to spend a lot of time talking about it, but would rather get everything done with a single mouse click. Thus we are offering these products in the future also online in George”, says Peter Bosek, member of the management board. In financial planning the internet is primarily used in order to obtain information on service providers (74%) or products (60%). 6 out of 10 want to be able to inspect their existing contracts online. In George this is already possible with the free sVersicherung plug-in.

“Pensionskonto Neu” (new pension account): 85% have already engaged with the topic
The reaction of Austrians to the first credit received according to their pension account information varies: 42% have expected the amount to be at the reported level, almost every third (29%) was disappointed by the reported amount. 15% haven’t even dealt with the topic as of yet, and one fifth of young adults up to the age of 29 don’t even know if they have received their pension account information. Austrians are doubtful whether they will be able to live just from their government pension one day. Nevertheless, 27% still wouldn’t change their behavior with respect to their retirement provisions. The main reasons cited for this are a lack of financial means (37%) or the fact that retirement age is still far away (25%). The retirement gap is estimated to stand at 545 euro on average. “Every third person cannot even estimate their retirement gap. In these cases it is especially important to meet with one’s advisor and discuss with him how to best close this gap”, says Schuster.

Mobile phone signature: Nearly every second Austrian is aware of it
44% of Austrians are by now aware of the possibility to access the new pension account with a mobile phone signature, which represents a significant increase compared to the previous year (7%). The activation of this service in a bank branch office would be of interest to nearly half of respondents (44%), whereby men tend to rate this possibility more highly (52%) than women (36%). Since last year, activation of one’s mobile signature is possible at anytime and free of charge in all branch offices of Erste Bank und Sparkassen. Moreover: Every second Austrian wants an advisor to calculate their retirement gap: “Upon calculating the retirement gap, one can see right away what amount one is going to need to support oneself in old age. In this context it is better to make the calculation early, so that one is still able to change something if needed – rather than to be faced with a fait accompli once one enters retirement.” Bosek admonishes.

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