Germany’s poor pensioners | DW Documentary
DW Documentary
Poverty threatens more German seniors than ever. How to make ends meet, when pension isn’t enough?
Herbert worked nearly his entire life, as a welder and as a sailor. But he never put much thought into his pension. Now at 65, he barely receives enough to make ends meet. He can hardly afford daily expenses, not to mention hobbies or a vacation. The number of people in Germany struck with the same fate as Herbert is on the rise. At 15%, the rate of pensioners living at poverty level has leapt higher than any other segment in society. Herbert relies on food donations and collects bottles left behind by party-revelers for extra cash. It’s not easy for him, but he has no other choice. Just like so many other pensioners, even in Germany’s wealthiest regions. A report by Axel Rowohlt.
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  • Foxman

    I think he's bored. Smoking non-stop cigarettes. Driving a car. Living in a fairly large apartment........and he collects emty bottles. I think there is something fishy with this guy. The minimum pension in Germany (even if you never have worked in your life) is 850 Euros per month. By the way, I think he is very picky in the foodbank. I am a German and I understood the way he spoke there. All that seems very strange to me..

  • Tillman Jex
    Tillman Jex

    The thing people have to realise with this report is how the german retirement insurance works. What you pay in, is not what you get back. When you're working and paying into the retirement fund, it goes straight to those already retired. Then, when you're retired, the people working pay for you. The amount you get is respective to what you paid in, but not dollar for dollar. The problem with this is that increasingly there are more retired people, because life expectancy and living standards continue to increase. Now you couple that with a generation of young people who consciously decide not to have children and you end up with a massive problem. The German government just simply screwed this one up.

  • devendra gupta
    devendra gupta

    I don't eat vegan, 😂😂

  • Jimmy Somethin
    Jimmy Somethin

    That old German guy Herbert smokes, smoking is very expensive in Germany..!! Jimmy

  • Sophie Lei
    Sophie Lei

    I hate how the government impose income and goods and services tax, but not treat the elderly by giving them superannuation back. That’s so unfair.

  • lothean

    Those of you in your 20s, this could be you in 45 years or less. Save now till it hurts..then save more.

  • Никита Никитин
    Никита Никитин

    If you call THIS poverty, you don't know what real poverty is.

  • Sweet Curry
    Sweet Curry

    Thank god for the nhs in the uk

  • black Stone
    black Stone

    As a capitalist country, Germany should provide its elder citizens with essentials at a minimal or free of cost.. They contributed to build the Deutschland.. Now they deserve the help from the government.. 😔😔😔

  • blitz

    900 euros? and he has money to keep a cat, have a 50 sqm apartment, spend on zigarettes and keep a car? i feel like there are some serious decision problems going on

  • roy sam
    roy sam

    It's a shame that Germany as one of the biggest economic country of Europe is acting like this. These old people build this country. Counselor Merkel do something about this. Don't let this happen, Germany has more then enough money.

  • BBBRave

    Any pensioner poor in Germany just didn’t save money for retirement. . Don’t make idiots out of the many responsible German pensioners. At least he can collect bottles to make money. He should go to Liberia or Madagascar then he will be ashamed of himself shooting this video.

  • ilan a
    ilan a

    I know moving to a different place at an older age is tough, but he should consider finding cheaper accomodation, maybe in a suburb of Hamburg. Second, agism in the workplace is a disgrace and must be stopped. No reason he should not be able to work a few hours every day.

  • DJ Jordan
    DJ Jordan

    Seniors in all western countries who built their countries especially after WW2 have been left behind after paying into pension systems which the governments have plundered. No pension has kept up with inflation but don't worry those millions of illegal invaders get free everything and more than those who built their countries up. Global socialism making all equally poor except the few elite.

  • brian upton
    brian upton

    Pensioners in Australia don’t know they are well off compared to Germany, and I thought they lived well, I, a pensioner myself consider myself well off to this poor sod.

  • Chris Ammar
    Chris Ammar

    Obviously if you add another million refugees and it sure it will help a lot..........what a joke when a leader turns on their own people!

  • edward stevens
    edward stevens

    Its good exercise.

  • edward stevens
    edward stevens

    Quit buying smokes.

  • Leon Alves
    Leon Alves

    hope they paid him a lot for this interview :(

  • Neil

    He smokes ,has a car and a cat ,waste of money ,his rent is half his pension ,that is better than Australia ,and he can get all the food he wants for $2 ,what is his problem

  • Himangshu Arnheim Bora
    Himangshu Arnheim Bora

    Keep supporting refugees who in return is damaging is your country

  • 1JH

    What to complain This is democracy of capitalism

  • sick and tired of Lily Singh
    sick and tired of Lily Singh

    This is why having a kid or two is important.😏

  • Amal Kruger
    Amal Kruger

    I am shocked German Poverty NO. BUT ime watching!!!!

  • Trevor Taylor
    Trevor Taylor

    The same problem the rich live in lavish luxury while the poor working class borderline starve

  • oO Lolo
    oO Lolo

    Having an apartemnt a car and u smoke probably a lot and i cal yourself poor? Yeah right

  • angela fiore
    angela fiore

    No money but he is smoking.

  • Cosi Fan Tutte
    Cosi Fan Tutte

    Same in the UK, while illegal immigrants get a house and benefits.

  • Derrick Gooch
    Derrick Gooch

    I imaging his cigarette Bill is more than he makes collecting bottles.

  • Jason Deb
    Jason Deb

    Start saving money guys from early age because the government will not protect you in the old age

  • Jason Deb
    Jason Deb

    I always admired Germany and felt they are one of the best run countries in the world but this is so heartbreaking.

  • Jason Deb
    Jason Deb

    This is heartbreaking. The government needs to change its system.they need to protect these people. We can't just treat this elderly people like trash.this is so so sad

  • N. Kastner
    N. Kastner

    He deserves better life. Other than emigrants who get much more than him and non stop delivering kids to be a teacher and send money to them country... pour old people in every country ..

  • Mar Sal
    Mar Sal

    How much goes for cigarets? They are expensive.

  • Zara Dimple
    Zara Dimple

    He should get a large pulley.

  • May Hampson
    May Hampson

    Yes , it is dreadful how these countries have treated their older citizens, but allowing immigrants to enter giving them benefits! Shame on you .who are the people making these decisions . They should be thrown out of office by the people , made to stand down. Where is the people power , vote them out .

  • Adrian Calgary
    Adrian Calgary

    The dude is lucky to have bottles for recycling. In Canada old Chinese folks who can't speak English are doing this on the daily basis.

  • J S
    J S

    4 days 200 euros.. 50 years a night for a few hours work.... Doesn't sound too bad to me..... Could be collecting 10 in Indonesia or Coal in India... For three bucks a day after 12 hours

  • Moe Khez
    Moe Khez

    It’s heartbreaking but Germans are the nicest compassionate people in whole world

  • Darshan K.P
    Darshan K.P

    Why give refugees welfare when you cannot take care of your own elderly citizens?!? Heartbreaking to see that they feel shy to munch of the state

  • Martin Martin
    Martin Martin

    "No vegan " His quite picking in what food he eats, In Africa they would of taken anything to eat just to survive.He still one notch up from the rest.

  • Ana Caona
    Ana Caona

    Send them to Puerto Rico. That island receives $22 Billion/year in welfare payments from the US government. Put PRs to work.

  • resptheair

    Germany sucks in general, they used to "torture"people since many years in different ways

  • Neville

    Germany.......this could be (and is) any big city in america.

  • Ales Alter
    Ales Alter

    Go to live in Eastern Europe. You are going to be Prince charming for local women of 40+. The pension is fairly enough to live a comfortable life in Ukraine.

  • dont fuck with me
    dont fuck with me

    we bangladeshi stay with our family untill they die. we love our elders and our family.

  • Ladida386

    Also downstream Donau. Nothing new.

  • kautra12

    My grandma in Lithuania gets 180euros a month and she needs to pay taxes, buy food and then she left without the money... and this man gets 900euros 😀 main salary in Lithuania is around 400 euros it is less than a half this mans pension, DW needs to make a documentary in east europe ☹

  • Rajat Padhi
    Rajat Padhi

    india is also facing worse problem than u with NEW PENSION SYSTEM

  • Regi Franco
    Regi Franco

    This is what happens when the flood gates are open to foreigners, and their nationals are forced to pay for them. Evil governments every where! Y pray justice would soon come.

  • lagianna100

    In Europe the genocide of white people is the priority of our Governments.

  • Mary Renaud
    Mary Renaud

    Shameful! One half of his income goes for rent. This lack of rent control nearly everywhere in the USA has the same result, both for workers and retired people with a high percent paying 40% or more for rent. This means not enough money is left for food, healthcare, transportation, and cell or other technology, let alone any savings. Even with Medicare, health costs are extremely high in the US. All governments in rich countries should have built and should be building affordable housing for seniors and workers, with rent no more than 25% of take home pay. This is what our parents taught, pay no more than 25% for housing. This would also force the private rental market to a more reasonable cost level. Rent control laws should also apply.

  • Virginia L Pinon
    Virginia L Pinon

    It's as bad or worse here...many women stayed home. Raised children s.s. or SSI is small ur scraping by. Eating cheap filling up with bad carbs. Etc. Cant afford wat u no u should have it's bad. Bit I thank God every day for wat I do have.

  • John Wren
    John Wren

    "But he never put much thought into his pension" Well, there you have it! Pay attention. Live below your means. Save. Think ahead. Its here much sooner than you think.

  • Nadine Blake
    Nadine Blake

    Sad.... poverty is rampant worldwide and amongst all Races and backgrounds. Thou shalt not judge considering most of us are only one check away.

  • Washington.A. Santiago
    Washington.A. Santiago

    The young waste money drinking, the old struggles to get by, 🤔

  • Scott Gibboney
    Scott Gibboney

    He work all his life ... Respect.

  • 91myumyu

    His situation is his own fault. He failed to think about his future and save or invest. Being born poor is not your fault but dying poor is your fault.

  • Tanya

    He’s incredibly likeable, non complaining. He’s disciplined and loves his city and his cat. He’s getting out and has exercise. His life is hard but somehow I think he is satisfied. If I win the lottery I will shout him a trip to Australia and New Zealand.

  • Fehad Bilgrami
    Fehad Bilgrami

    All this and he smokes, how much did those cost fellow? You need to forward think, make a plan and help yourself out of this situation. Don’t wake up in to poverty. You owe it to yourself!

  • Danny Treffers
    Danny Treffers

    Thats extreme leftist Hamburg. Antifa country. See the results of that policy.

  • Evaldas S
    Evaldas S

    There are millions of retirees in Germany, but only a few people collect the bottles. This is apparently not a government problem. This is a person problem.

  • Bongorraunoch Totelonotel
    Bongorraunoch Totelonotel

    That why marxism leninism is suitable for germany

  • Diaspora Returnee
    Diaspora Returnee

    If this is poverty - spacious apartment with TV, cat-food, electricity water, daily cigarettes, furniture, almost free food and so on I wonder how some of these guys would survive in real poverty in Africa where none of the above are available to the poor

  • Thomas Bacon
    Thomas Bacon

    At some point, one has to take responsibility for their actions. Like saving for retirement might be a start.

  • Hendrika Sunqrout
    Hendrika Sunqrout

    Disgraceful to bring a proud people down on their knees after all they had done for their country.

  • Frank Blangeard
    Frank Blangeard

    One man with no information about why he didn't save any money. Not a very comprehensive documentary.

  • TCB 101
    TCB 101

    I go back and forth about should I feel sorry for him or not. And that is that why is he smoking ? Smoking in Europe is expensive ! I'm sure he spends about ok between 50-100 Euros a month smoking. TCB.

  • Jay Gar
    Jay Gar

    If country is struggling to take of own people, then no need to invite rest of the world

  • John o donoghue
    John o donoghue

    Why are people not taught how the banks create money out of thin air and then loan it out with interest.

  • Chiqagolil Kelly
    Chiqagolil Kelly


  • Waxman

    And he has money for cigarettes LMAO

  • Duane Locsin
    Duane Locsin

    yet there are a growing number of billionaires (at the expense of the middle class) around the world. roughly 2,000 and nearly a quarter of those in a country that is rich but has massive income inequality - The United States.

  • Duane Locsin
    Duane Locsin

    In expensive prestigious cities of the future, we all maybe collecting bottles in our retiring ages. :|

  • zed zardoz
    zed zardoz

    sont they have social security ?

  • L Warner
    L Warner

    The countries spend trillions on weapons but can't take care of people!

  • georg schmidt
    georg schmidt

    With the USA paying for a lot of Germany's military defence they should have plenty of money for the elderly. Number 2 Germany spends lots of money on illegal immigrants they could be spending on the elder.

  • Isidro R Santos
    Isidro R Santos

    The same thing happens here in Australia.

  • Evangeline Gilbero
    Evangeline Gilbero

    500euros a month.thats already queite a bit alot of money her in my place

  • David Chaplin
    David Chaplin

    Her future was sold out with Globalization