The life insurer NN polls every six months about the financial peace of mind of Belgians. More than 4,000 Belgians took part in the survey. This shows that confidence in pension policy is low, especially among young people. One in five Belgians trust that the government can continue to pay their pensions. Confidence is even lower among the youngest generation (under 34 years of age).
This lack of certainty gives Belgians a headache. More than half (54%) say they are concerned about their financial situation during their future retirement. Women (60%) are more worried than men (53%).
Despite this lack of trust in the government, Belgians are not taking matters into their own hands. ’44 percent admit that they are not satisfied with their own savings efforts for their retirement,’ says Jan Van Autreve, the CEO of NN.
The problem appears to be that the Belgian does not know where to start. More than half admit they have no idea how much money they need to save for retirement.
‘It will only clear up when we approach retirement age. Then just over half say they know what they need. But that is late, too late’, warns Bart Chiau, senior expert at NN and professor at the Faculty of Economics at Ghent University.
It will only clear up when we approach retirement age. Then just over half say they know what they need. But that’s late, too late.
‘Whoever only wakes up around the age of 50 and starts planning, has missed a train and also misses the effect of capitalization,’ says Chiau. “Even if that seems like a far-from-my-bed show at 20, the preparations should start as early as possible.”
‘Because of the increasing life expectancy, we are spending more time in retirement, which means we need more financial resources’, outlines van Autreve. ‘How much exactly, is different for everyone. But a pension pot of 200,000 to 300,000 euros is realistic. Often even more is needed’, Chiau says.
‘People do save for a car or a trip, but that’s short-term thinking. How and how much to save during your life and for your retirement, you should actually learn at school. We must stimulate knowledge, combined with an active savings plan. But currently, barely one in three has such a financial pension plan’, says Chiau.