GERMANY - The Allianz Pensionskasse and clinic group Marseille-Kliniken have established a pension fund for the care profession.

Initially around 5,000 employees from Marseille-Kliniken, which runs nursing and care homes, will participate in the new pension fund.

But the Versorgungswerk Soziale Dienste e.V., as it is officially called, will be open to all employees in the care sector.

"We had quite a few phone calls… already," a spokeswoman for Allianz told IPE. "But we do not have any definite joiners yet as the fund was only just set up."

A spokesman for Marseille-Kliniken said that the company had decided to put up a pension fund to be able to "reward our employees for their good work, to motivate them and establish a long-term tie between them and our company."

Elsewhere, a consumer magazine in Germany has compared Pensionskassen to see which offers the better retirement benefits.

Looking at 31 Pensionskassen open to all employees, the journal found that with the same contribution of €1,200 per annum over 25 years, the annuity can be between €214 and €139.

The top performer was found to be the Kölner Pensionskasse. Only with the Selbsthilfe Pensionskasse a higher guaranteed annuity of €231 could be reached but this pension fund is only open to employees of the Catholic Church. The Ara Pensionkasse came last in the survey.

In Germany 5.5m employees are in Pensionskassen, which includes Versorgungswerke. These are industry-specific pension plans.