“Voucher redeemable until”: validity, statute of limitations and conditions

Tuesday, 25.12.12 , written by Anja Schlicht Vouchers as a Christmas present are becoming more popular year by year. Also in 2012, after the holidays, many people will be in the shops to redeem their vouchers for movies, clothes or DVDs. But how long are vouchers actually valid and when can  „Gutschein einlösbar bis“: Gültigkeit, Verjährung und Bedingungen

Vouchers are no longer just a last-minute gift. Instead, they offer the recipient the opportunity to buy something to their personal taste. The downside, however, is that most of the time you forget that you got a voucher for Christmas or your birthday. If he falls into the hands of the recipient after a year, the big guesswork begins: Can the voucher still be redeemed?

Vouchers usually valid for three years

In general, vouchers expire after three years. If no exact date of validity or issue is noted, the voucher can still be redeemed three years after the end of the year in which it was issued. This means that a voucher from 21.12.2017 is valid until 31.12.2020. The same applies if the voucher was given in January or July 2017. The period of validity of a voucher can in individual cases also be shorter than three years, if the time limit, for example to two years, is appropriate. If the voucher needs to be redeemed in less than a year, this is usually inadmissible. Then you can take your time – only after three years will the voucher be forfeited.


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No cash payment on coupons

Vouchers can be redeemed by any person – regardless of their name. According to section 807 of the Civil Code (BGB) a voucher is a so-called small bearer paper. Anyone who holds it in his hands may claim it. However, voucher holders do not have the right to demand a cash payment. In addition, they are not entitled to the remainder of the voucher after their redemption is paid. Traders are allowed to issue a new voucher for the remaining balance – even if it is only a matter of a few cents.

Vouchers expire after the limitation period

After expiry of the legal period of validity of three years indefinite vouchers expire and the money is gone. If, however, they are vouchers with an expiry date of about one year, the merchant must reimburse the monetary value within the three-year limitation period after the end of the voucher validity. However, customers do not get back the full amount of the voucher. Rather, the dealer may retain part of the money. How much is paid in the end varies from case to case.

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The finanzen.de news inform their readers about the most important news in the areas of insurance, finance, precaution and consumer issues. These include, for example, expert interviews, background stories, current developments in the insurance markets, reviews by renowned rating agencies on, for example, an occupational disability insurance test and consumer information on legal innovations.

Regardless of whether there is a new liability insurance test or a building insurance survey: The finanzen.de news provide up-to-the-minute information on test results (for example a household insurance insurance test) on financial and insurance products. In addition, our editorial staff also writes about new legislative initiatives, such as pensions, life insurance or consumer protection, or clarifies tripping hazards, for example, when the insurance is taken out.

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Get out of the pension trap – Peter Zwegat calls for retirement

Thursday, 10.07.14 , written by Christian Hafler Peter Zwegat is back on RTL as Germany’s best-known debt advisor. In the evening he answered with a “get out of debt” special. In the current program “Get out of the pension trap” he takes care of the topic of old-age provision and advises: “Save time, so you have in need!” >  No money in old age: Better to make private provision as early as possible

Peter Zwegat returns to RTL with a pension special. The debt counselor of the nation shows with “Get out of the pension trap”, how important an optimal retirement is. Because many – especially young – Germans do not know how they should go with a small salary and some money for old age. But those who do not act soon enough risk later retirement poverty, warns Zwegat. Because today “no pension is safe – and everyone should take out supplementary insurance.” The expert gives important tips on how consumers do not fall into the pension trap. Peter Zwegat wants to enlighten those who are threatened by old-age poverty, and show how to set up a solid retirement savings.

Zwegat: to close the pension gap only with private or company pension plans

According to Zwegat, young people already have to “save privately or on a company-by-job basis to close the pension gap.” For old-age poverty already starts with young people in the middle of working life. But ignorance, a low income and the fear of the wrong pension product lead to “that many people do not save anything for the ages,” notes the debt counselor again and again. Experts advise to save 10 percent of the net income for old age. But Zwegat sees it differently: no matter whether 20, 50 or 100 euros – everyone should do as much as he can monthly against poverty in old age. “In general, one should choose a facility that is recommended by consumer centers or independent comparison portals,” says Zwegat.

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Which pension plan is optimal?

In the case of the young family with two children, who visited Zwegat, a Riester bank savings plan is recommended as the optimal pension. With the Riester pension especially families benefit from the government allowances for themselves and their children. With several hundred euros per year, the state thus supports the development of private provision. Only today, Stiftung Warentest has published a test on Riester bank savings plans in its latest issue of Finanztest (11/2013).

These people are particularly vulnerable to old-age poverty

60 percent of workers are currently at risk of poverty. Especially women are affected, as shown by the pension comparison in the young family. While the man has to expect a statutory pension of well over 1,000 euros a month, his wife has around 600 euros. Old-age poverty is also a geographical problem. Above all, people in the new federal states are threatened, since they usually earn less there than in the West. At the same time, old-age poverty is related to income. Anyone earning less than 2,500 euros a month must expect poverty in old age, according to RTL.

Attention to pension advice by banks and agents

With their private pension plans, many young people attach importance to flexibility. Not everyone wants to sign a contract in which he pays over 30 or 40 years contributions. For example, for the 25-year lawyer and notary, where Zwegat is also sitting on the couch, only a bank savings plan in question, in which they can dispose of their money in the short term. Insurance professionals should actually respond to the individual needs of their clients, so that they ultimately get the retirement they really want. Unfortunately, these wishes are often hidden. Together with the consumer center North Rhine-Westphalia Peter Zwegat tested the consulting with banks and insurance companies. Too often the customer was not in the foreground. On the contrary: the insurance brokers sold what “the briefcase gives”.

What other retirement gaps are there?

But not only in the pension gapes a pension gap, points out Annabel Oelmann of the consumer center NRW. Among other things, it recommends a disability insurance for young adults. After all, one in four employees is no longer working until retirement age, but is previously unable to work. Anyone who thinks that the state is helping them by helping them is wrong. The state benefits are not only low, but linked to very strict conditions.

The consumer advocate also thinks it makes sense to have a savings account that always has a nest egg of two to three months’ salary. Everyone should have private liability insurance. This has already been made clear by the consumer magazine ZDF WISO plus in the past. Young families are also well protected by a term life insurance if the main earner suddenly dies.

Zwegat: “Precaution would be nice”

There are over 100,000 old-age provision products in Germany. It is no wonder that many consumers feel insecure. There is also a lack of transparency, even though the Federal Government has already provided more transparency with a product information sheet. But a private pension is important. That’s what Peter Zwegat showed with the “Get out of debt” special. Everyone can optimally provide with the right product. With an independent consultation, this can also be found from the countless offers.

Here you will find tips and further information on old-age provision. >

Christian Hafler

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