GERMANY - The pension reserves for 600 retired workers at Germany's Eckes AG have been transferred into a fund managed by Allianz Life Insurance.

These pension reserves were previously kept on the books of the stockmarket-listed drinks maker but will now be managed by Allianz in a tailored solution negotiated by Allianz Pensions Consulting (APC) and the Dresdner Kleinwort, the firm's banking arm.

No details on the transferred sum have been revealed but a spokesperson for Allianz told IPE it is a "double-digit million euro sum".

"With this step we are optimising our liquidity and risk management and gain certainty in our future planning," said Albert Grätz, chief financial officer for Eckes AG.

Allianz said it was important - especially for listed companies - to consider certain risks to pension reserves such as longevity or invalidity of its members, as more and more rating agencies and banks are questioning appropriate management of these risks.

"Transparency and international comparison are the demands companies have to react to," explained Axel Dahlinger, client relationship manager at Dresdner Keinwort.

Around half of the pension reserves in German companies are still held on a company's books and only a small minority of this money is funded in a trust agreement or a similar model.

However, increasing realisation of the risks involved in unfunded pension liabilities as well as changes to the accounting standards are leading to an increase in companies transferring their pension reserves, industry representatives in Germany agree.

"Our pensioners are given additional security and they are entitled to a profit-share of successful investments by Allianz Leben," Grätz added.

Officials were unable to clarify at the time of publication how the assets of active and deferred pension members are being managed.