Wednesday, 22.01.14, written by Bernd Lauberg
For a few weeks, there are three insurers in Germany, which have partly adopted the guaranteed interest. With the Allianz Perspective, the Ergo Pension Guarantee and now the AXA Relax Pension, consumers forego the guaranteed interest on their old-age provision. Instead, they are offered different collateral and new opportunities.
New products are increasing the need for advice from consumers
For a long time the guaranteed interest rate was considered one of the best arguments for the conclusion of a classic life insurance policy. In the case of the corresponding products, the insurer guarantees a fixed, fixed interest rate with which the savings capital bears interest. More than 15 years ago, the guaranteed interest rate was four percent. But since then he falls and falls. Meanwhile, he threatens to be even lowered to 1.25 percent. The former advantage is now gone. It’s high time that insurers rethink. This is what happened with Allianz, Ergo and, most recently, AXA. They also recently offer pension insurance without a guaranteed interest.
Allianz perspective, Ergo pension guarantee and AXA Relax pension in comparison
In essence, Allianz Perspective, Ergo Pension Guarantee and AXA Relax Pension are similar. For all three products consumers are guaranteed a contribution guarantee. At the beginning of your pension, you will at least receive back your paid-in contributions. But the Germans do not have to take out old-age provision. You could just as well stretch the money into the savings stocking. The attractiveness of the new pension products lies in their flexibility and dynamism, which make high returns possible.
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Allianz perspective in detail
The Allianz Vorsorgekonzept Perspektive seems to be aimed primarily at security-oriented Germans. Because in the savings phase, a large part of the capital is invested in fixed income securities in order to generate solid returns. Only a small part is created with additional return opportunities. A slightly higher percentage of surplus participation than, for example, a guaranteed annuity annuity may increase the guaranteed capital. At the disbursement phase, interest is then paid at the prevailing interest rate level. If the guaranteed interest rate has developed positively by then, the guaranteed minimum pension can increase significantly.
Ergo pension guarantee: Flexible and dynamic
The Ergo pension guarantee is much more dynamic. It is true that some of the paid-in contributions are used to pay out the promised so-called minimum contract credit to the insured at the beginning of the pension. But the vast majority is invested in growth-oriented investments such as equities to generate returns. However, the insurer also pays attention to stability and puts another share of the savings capital in safe investments in order to enable a steady increase in value.
AXA Relax pension: No guarantee interest for more return
The AXA Relax pension consists of three components that can be individually combined by consumers. Again, as with the Ergo, the focus is on security, yield and solid appreciation. As it is also a unit-linked pension scheme with new guarantees, flexible investment options allow high returns. The AXA Relax pension was introduced by the insurer only a few days ago. The provider is the youngest who goes new ways without guaranteed interest.
New products without warranty interest in the review
But the new forms of provision are not without criticism. Both the Ergo pension and the Allianz perspective are under discussion. For example, Axel Kleinlein criticizes the insured that the Ergo Pension Guarantee is low-yield and intransparent. The Alliance is criticized by consumer advocates mainly because of the high costs. And even at AXA, it’s only a matter of time before the first critical voices get loud. Consumers are more likely than ever to feel unsettled by the reactions.
Advice on old-age provision is becoming increasingly important
Many Germans know that the guaranteed interest rate alone is no longer decisive for the conclusion of a private pension plan. But very few people want to take too much risk when it comes to saving for old age. In times of uncertainty, it is therefore no longer sufficient to only read about the respective pension options on the Internet. Those who want to deal responsibly with their private pension should seek advice. Consumers will not only find help from consumer advice centers, but also from independent experts.
Here you will find tips and further information on old-age provision.