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Young people have little faith in Belgian pension system

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Young people between the ages of 18 and 40 don’t have much faith in the pension system, scoring it 5.4 out of 10 according to the results of a survey published on Tuesday.

The survey was conducted by Callebaut Collective on behalf of the professional insurance union, Assuralia, and the representative of pension funds, PensioPlus.

Between November and December 2020, 1,766 young people between 18 and 40 years old responded to the survey, which asked them about their perception of the pension system and their eventual retirement.

On average, respondents gave the system a score of 5.4 out of 10, a “dramatically low” figure for Assuralia and PensioPlus.

Respondents pointed to a pension that is too low, a retirement age that is too high, uncertainty about the future, a feeling of inequality and unfairness, and the complexity of the system.

“All actors need to raise awareness about the importance of doing this early enough to get a decent pension,” said Hilde Vernaillen, president of Assuralia. “We need more transparency, more explanation, more simplification.”

The survey also revealed an indifference on the part of the younger generation, with 60% of respondents stating that they do not care about their pension and that they do not feel it concerns them.

However, 50% of respondents said they’re concerned that they won’t be able to live comfortably in retirement, 69% expect to have to rely on supplementary income and 62% fear that they will be left without money.

Additionally, 47% are not convinced that the state will be able to continue paying their pension.

Young people rate their financial knowledge of pension planning at just 5.1 out of 10.

The second pillar (the supplementary pension acquired via the employer through group insurance or a pension fund) was not well known, with less than a quarter of respondents saying they were familiar with it.

The third pillar, pension savings, is more commonly understood, with 40% of 18-40 year olds claiming to have a good knowledge of it.

The majority of respondents felt that responsibility for a decent pension was shared: 86% felt that the government should ensure this, 80% that the employer should contribute and 76% that they themselves had a responsibility.

The Brussels Times