Comparing the costs of Riester pensions

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We compare costs of 36 representative classic Riester pension contracts using two alternative indicators: the cost-to-savings-ratio and the reduction-in-yield. Due to the mathematical link between the two indicators both reveal an identical ranking of contracts. There are very low and very high priced contracts. The big spread in costs could be related to complicated cost structures and lack of transparency. We consider different savers’ characteristics, like income, the subsidy ratio, and contract duration, and find that they have an influence on the cost indicators. Furthermore, the indicators are only moderately sensitive to changes in the interest rates. Costs are calculated separately for the accumulation and the decumulation phase as well as for the complete contract duration. Cost comparisons have been completed and results documented in a discussion paper. The paper has been submitted for publication.

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