ZEW Economist Tabea Bucher-Koenen Advises German Finance Ministry on Pensions

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Experts Focus on Promotion of Private Old-Age Provision

Tabea Bucher-Koenen, head of ZEW Research Unit “Pensions and Sustainable Financial Markets”

Professor Tabea Bucher-Koenen, head of the ZEW Research Unit “Pensions and Sustainable Financial Markets”, has been appointed as an expert to the focus group “Private Pensions” of the German government and the Federal Ministry of Finance. Tabea Bucher-Koenen, together with the other experts, will prepare a report by summer 2023 that will examine ways to strengthen private old-age provision.

“What is needed are viable solutions to ensure a stable pension system in the long term. It is extremely positive that the federal government is aiming to strengthen private old-age provision with the focus group. For this purpose, Tabea Bucher-Koenen, as a proven expert in the field of old-age provision, is an excellent choice to actively support political decision-makers with her scientific expertise in pensions, social policy and financial literacy,” emphasises ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach.

Constituent meeting of the private pension focus group

“Demographic change poses major challenges to the existing pension system. Additional old-age provision plays an important role in securing future retirement income. Despite the Riester pension, there are still many people – especially low earners – who do not yet have a private pension contract or pay into a company pension scheme. It is the task of the federal government to develop innovative solutions to change this. As an expert, this is exactly where I would like to help out. I am therefore pleased to be able to provide substantiated advice to the federal government with my scientific focus on pension policy,” underlines Tabea Bucher-Koenen, who, in addition to her work at ZEW, is also a professor of financial systems at the University of Mannheim and co-director of the Mannheim Institute for Financial Education (MIFE).

In addition to exploring ways to promote private pension products with higher potential returns than the current Riester contracts, the group is also looking at a publicly accountable fund that offers citizens a low-cost and effective offer with a chance to opt out. The focus group also discusses how incentives can be designed to strengthen private pension provision in lower income groups.