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Change Riester pension

Over 16 million people in Germany have a Riester pension. However, many of these Riester pensions are not optimal. Either the contracts are too expensive, do not generate any return or essential Riester criteria are not met. It is therefore advisable to change the Riester pension in these cases. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to change your Riester contract. However, you must first know whether your existing Riester pension is good or bad. Below you will find 5 reasons that speak for you to change your Riester. Alternatively, you can also use ours free Riester check use.

1. Too high costs in your Riester contract

If your Riester pension is too costly, then this is an absolutely justified reason to change your Riester pension. If too many costs (e.g. running fees) are incurred, then your Riester contract simply cannot generate any return. At the end of the day, you may have a maximum of the contributions you have paid in and the allowances that are available to you at the start of retirement. But only because, according to the law, these must be available to you at least. Your Riester pension should, of course, ideally still generate some additional return for you. And that doesn’t work if the cost of the contract is too high.

Many contracts are just plain expensive

High costs, and in contrast, no / hardly any value / performance that you get for it.

But there are also tariffs on the market that supposedly have slightly higher costs … but which in return also offer significantly better performance and better value.

A company with an extremely good investment model and very good pension factors cannot portray this as “cheap cheap”.

Therefore you need an ideal combination of price and performance.

In everyday life you don’t always buy the cheapest. You also pay attention to the quality. And especially with a Riester pension with such a long term, quality should be one of the most important criteria

2. Your contract does not generate any return

In addition to high costs, a too low return is of course a reason to change your Riester pension. Unfortunately, low costs will not help you if the bottom line is that your Riester contract does not generate any return. Unfortunately, most Riester contracts are not “yield-optimized”. This means that in many cases only a very small part of your contribution is actually invested in the stock market. Because only there are the real potential for returns.

Change Riester pension because simply no return is possible

The rule, however, is that your contribution is invested “safely” (with a current guaranteed interest rate of 0.9%). Here it is simply impossible that your Riester contract can even begin to generate any form of return. Depending on the investment model (these differ extremely depending on the insurer!), Some Riester providers can invest a relatively high proportion of your contribution in free funds. These providers are recommended when it comes to maximum return.

3. You don’t have a 100% guaranteed pension factor

Unfortunately, this point is very often neglected because it is so immensely important. If your Riester pension does not have a really guaranteed pension factor, then your Riester pension is nothing more than a lottery game. Because only a guaranteed pension factor determines how much monthly pension you will actually have available later.

In addition, the pension factor is often only guaranteed for the contributions paid, but not for the entire contract balance (including the fund assets generated)

I definitely recommend the following video (from the largest Insurance YouTube Channel ) if you have not yet heard of the pension factor:

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have a Riester bank savings plan (e.g. DWS or Union Investment), there is no pension factor there. Pension factors are only possible through an insurer. And that’s why you should definitely optimize such a Riester bank savings plan and switch to a provider who already offers you a high, guaranteed pension factor.

4. Your contract contains a trustee clause

Another point that very few people know. If a so-called trustee clause has been agreed in your Riester pension, then your Riester pension provider can still adjust a supposedly guaranteed pension factor and lower it. An external trustee is simply appointed through whom this is then possible. Unfortunately, this passage is not simply called the “trustee clause” in your contract, but is usually hidden somewhere in the terms and conditions and heavily claused. Especially here we recommend the free Riester check as this is really very difficult to find out as a layperson.

5. Contract with low guaranteed interest

Some Riester contracts (especially older ones) only have a guaranteed interest rate, but do not invest in stocks and funds. At the same time, such contracts usually also cause high costs. Thus, a contract with a guaranteed interest rate of 2.25% and an expense ratio of 2% cannot even beat inflation. Such contracts should also be optimized if possible.

Important NOTE: There is also no pension factor for contracts with a pure guaranteed interest rate. Your pension is only calculated using the guaranteed interest rate, as there is no fund balance.


The probability that your Riester pension will not be optimal is relatively high. As long as you still have a long term until you retire (at least 15 years), all hope is not lost and you can change your Riester pension to a new, better provider and transfer the capital you have saved up to there.