all projects

Pension Perspectives 2040


German Insurance Association (GDV)



How high the pensions will be for a typical employee depends, among other things, on the occupation and the place of residence. This is the result of recent research by Prognos for GDV.

The "occupation-related pension levels" differ very significantly in some cases - and can also develop very individually in some cases over the next decades. "How high the pension will depend above all on the economic lifetime performance of an employee," explains Oliver Ehrentraut, pension expert at Prognos AG. "Those who pay in more will also receive a higher pension later on."

The study was commissioned by the German Insurance Association (GDV). An abridged version of the study appeared at the end of 2015, and now the long version has been published.

High earners have the lowest pension level

For the forecast of how pensions will develop until 2040, Prognos examined ten professions in all regions of Germany in more detail. It shows that a development engineer has the lowest "individual pension level" in perspective. However, he or she receives the highest pension of all the professions studied: just over 2,000 euros per month. That is one-third of the average income received in his last five years of work. "The ceiling on pension contributions caps the contributions of high earners during their working lives and at the same time limits their later claims on the pension system," explains Prognos expert Oliver Ehrentraut.

Regional differences in pension levels and purchasing power

How much is the pension worth and what can a pensioner afford locally when he or she retires? The study "Pension Perspectives 2040" also provides an overview of the development of statutory pensions in all 402 districts and independent cities in Germany. In a nationwide comparison, the biggest differences are between Wilhelmshaven and Saxon Switzerland: depending on the occupational profile, the pension level in the coastal city of Lower Saxony is up to 20 or 30 per cent higher than the level in the Ore Mountains.

How much the pension earned with the regional employment biographies is ultimately worth also depends on the regional purchasing power. Housing costs in particular shape the picture here. Only the pension purchasing power provides information about the contribution of the statutory pension to the respective old-age security.

The economically strong metropolitan regions guarantee high incomes and thus high pensions. However, purchasing power is weak in Munich and Hamburg, for example, due to the high cost of living. Well-developed rural regions are the best places to live in retirement (in terms of purchasing power).


The pension landscape is very complicated. According to Prognos estimates, fixing the pension level would cost around 600 billion euros by 2040. To ensure that people who need special help are also taken into account, the individual situation of each pensioner should be taken into account. If this is not taken into account, enormous tax losses could be the result.

About us

Prognos – Providing Orientation.

Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

Learn more