Why only a quarter of Austrians trust the pension system

The Local Austria
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Why only a quarter of Austrians trust the pension system
Most Austrians believe pensions here are too little to live on in old age. Photo: Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Most Austrians have a rather negative verdict on their pension system – or lukewarm at best – according to a new survey.


A new poll out for Austria’s Der Standard newspaper has found that around 80 percent of Austrians don’t think the country’s pension system will be able to provide them with an appropriate and reliable pension in old age.

What’s more, most Austrians think the country’s pension system is in danger of failing altogether at some point, with only 40 percent saying their believe it’s secure.

Who do they mostly blame?

That’d be Austria’s politicians. More than half of all those eligible to vote say their elected representatives are doing too little to safeguard tomorrow’s pensions.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How does the Austrian pension system work?

The only positive to come out of the survey – albeit perhaps a low bar to cross – is that the vast majority of Austrians, or 68 percent, agree that their system is still better than American social security. About 43 percent think the Austrian system is better than other EU countries.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Do your pension contributions abroad count in Austria?


Almost half of Austrians though, are expecting major changes to the pension system – something politicians may be reluctant to touch given widespread pension reform protests in France recently.

Who is the most confident in the pension system?

Out of the 800 survey respondents, men tended to be more confident in the pension system than women. Perhaps not surprisingly, the older someone is, the more confidence they have in the system – as younger people may be more likely to see pension system changes in their lifetime.

Regular voters of the centre-right ÖVP were also more likely to have confidence in the pension system. At the same time though, this was also the group most likely to have put away their own private provisions for old age.

READ ALSO: How many years for I have to work in Austria to be entitled to a pension?


How do Austrians want to solve the pension problem?

Most Austrians – around 65 percent – are skeptical of part-time work and agree that full-time work should be incentivised to pay for the pension system.

The population is pretty much evenly split on whether the retirement age should be raised further, as it was recently raised from 60 for women to 65.

READ ALSO: How Austria plans to raise the retirement age for women


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