Allianz to lead investment for German fund giant

GERMANY – Allianz is to lead a consortium of managers including Victoria Versicherung, BHW and Westdeutsche Landesbank (WestLB) in running the assets of the newly established Metall-Rente, the industry wide retirement provision company for the 4 million strong German metal, electronics, steel and textiles industries.

The announcement today confirms rumours that were circulating a number of weeks ago that IG Metall, the metal and electronics workers trade union and Gesamtmetall, the metal workers employers association had selected Allianz to lead the consortium, as reported on IPE Newsline on December 3.

Berlin based Metall-Rente will offer three different types of retirement provision scheme, direct insurance, the traditional German Pensionskasse or an actual invested pension fund. Though initially the company expects most workers to take out a new scheme as a supplement to an existing occupational plan, it is thought that new workers will use the new system as their main source of retirement provision.

For the insurance vehicle, Allianz, Victoria and BHW will work as a consortium, offering access to their existing insurance funds through Metall-Rente.

The Pensionskasse offer will initially be Allianz’s own operational Pensionskasse with a premium reserve level set specially for Metall-Rente. Once the required volume of the reserve has been reached, Allianz will establish a separate dedicated Metall-Rente Pensionskasse, into which the reserve’s assets will be transferred. Victoria and BHW will then join Allianz as partners in the Metall-Rente Pensionskasse.

Allianz will set up a separate pension fund company to take care of Metall-Rente’s new pension fund, in which Allianz, Victoria, BHW and WestLB will all be involved. The fund will be a defined contribution (DC) type but with a guaranteed minimum return.

Klaus Zwickel, president of IG Metall says that the deadline to have the Metall-Rente scheme up and running during the first quarter of 2002 will be met and that the new system will not be limited to the metal, electronics, steel and textile industries that have already signed up.
He notes that requests from other industry sectors to join have already been received.

“Metall-Rente will lead to something of a renaissance for occupational pension schemes in_Germany, as workers in small and medium sized companies, who didn’t have access to an occupational savings plan in the past, will now have the opportunity to supplement whatever pension provision they may have by means of formally contracted occupational scheme,” comments Zwickel.

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