Retirement expenditure goals before and after the crisis
Based on a set of questionnaires fielded in January 2008 and December 2014 and linked to administrative records on pension entitlementsand assets, we analyze changes in retirement expenditure goals during the crisis. The results show that median pension income decreased with 17% between 2008 and 2014. Median retirement expenditure goals also decreased during this period, from 1565 to 1371 euro per month. Due to these revisions in goals the fraction of individuals with an expected pension income (pension and savings) lower than their retirement expenditure goal only increases from 22% to 26%. If individuals had not revised their goals, this fraction would have increased to 41%. In 2008 homeowners and self-employed reported relatively high retirement expenditure goals, whereas in 2014 this is no longer the case. The differences between the goals of low and high income individuals have also decreased. The results show heterogeneity in retirement income as well as retirement expenditure goals. Goals depend on many factors during the life course and are more flexible than the 70% benchmark supposes. To take this into consideration, pension plans could be differentiated. Moreover, the researchers emphasize the importance of pension communication to raise pension awareness.