Since 2002 the German government seeks to stimulate private retirement savings
by means of special allowances and tax exemptions – the so-called Riester
scheme. We apply matching and panel regression techniques to assess the impact
of the Riester scheme on households’ propensities to save in a natural
experiment framework. Estimation results from both the German Socio-Economic
Panel and the SAVE study indicate that private saving was hardly affected by
the introduction of the Riester scheme.