Dirty business with our pension

A film by Caroline Nokel
Commissioned by WDR and SWR
In the series "Die Story im Ersten"

Statutory pensions alone are no longer enough, so most people in this country are making additional private provision for old age: with company pensions, Riester pensions or life insurance. The sum is enormous: insurers and pension funds invest a total of around 1.5 trillion euros for retirement provision on the capital market. They use the money to finance companies, banks and real estate, for example.

But what options do consumers have to find out what exactly happens to their money? The documentary shows how opaque these investments are. We investigate and find out: a considerable portion of this pension money flows into climate-damaging projects, fuels real estate speculation or even finances the arms industry.

The documentary goes in search of clues and accompanies people who want to find out whether they are involved in what they see as dirty deals with their Riester or company pension: in lignite mining, in antisocial real estate purchases or in the arms industry. Stefan Krostitz from Eutin finally wants to know exactly which investment funds are in his Riester contract. Britta Kox, whose house is threatened by brown coal mining, wants to prevent her husband's company pension from flowing into coal companies. And tenants from Berlin are being told that their rent will be tripled because they want to make the pensions of Schleswig-Holstein dentists as profitable as possible. What unites them all is the idea that the business with private pension money should no longer be left to insurers and pension funds alone.

Editing: Martin Suckow (WDR) and Hanspeter Michel (SWR)
Editing: Kawe Vakil
Camera: Dieter Stürmer

First broadcast:
on November 30, 2020 at 23.05 clock in the first.

02.12.2020, 20:15, SWR
03.12.2020, 10.30, SWR
03.12.2020, 20.15, tagesschau24
04.12.2020, 01.15, SWR

Available in streaming at the following providers:
The film is available on the Youtube channel of WDR and in the ARD-Mediathek.