In my occupational pension scheme (VBL) I can, in addition to the legally required private pension insurance (VBL klassik), opt-in to extra private pension insurance (VBL extra). The latter is apparently sponsored / tax-deductible up to a certain maximum, such that the government effectively adds ~8% on top of what people put in. If I understand correctly, this sponsorship is called Riester-Rente. Sounds good to me.
However, on the German language Wikipedia, there is a long article with criticism of the Riester-Rente, for example, that most people would lose money unless they become much older than the life expectancy. I don't understand why that is a problem; that should be a feature of any insurance, where a pension insurance is an insurance against running out of money due to becoming too old. Can I really be worse off with extra private pension insurance (such as VBL extra) with a government subsidy (such as Riester-Rente) than extra private pension insurance without such subsidies? The article also quotes the head of a federal consumer organisation that the scheme was gut gemeint gewesen, aber grottenschlecht gemacht (well-intended, but very poorly implemented).
What is the problem with Riester-Rente?