GERMANY - Around 20% of asset managers, KAGs banks, insurances and other product providers in Germany admit they are not investing enough or not investing at all in the retirement business.

While 86% of the 200 providers questioned said the pension fund business is important or even very important for the asset management industry, not all have turned that conviction into active company policy yet.

A study conducted by German consultancy and research company Kommalpha found approximately 18% of providers believe they are not well-positioned in the field of retirement provision compared to their competitors.

It is argued a further 50 of market participants polled separately, including businesses and pension schemes, indirectly suggested asset managers could do more to promote their pension products, as 40% of the potential clients did not answer the question asking whether asset managers or insurers were better positioned in the pension provision business.

Of the rest, only 9.4% named asset managers as top source for retirement provision related services, while 47% named insurance as more appropriate.

Interestlngly, only 20% of investors could name a strong asset manager in the German pensions sector - the other 80% simply did not answer the question.

The few that did respond named Allianz and Deutsche Bank, followed by Union Investment, Metzler, DEKA and Fidelity.

Kommalpha claimed providers were investing more in building their pension businesses than in 2006, but said there is "a clear gap between conceived importance of the issue, self-assessment by the providers and external view of the investors" so argued further awareness of pensions issues should be increased.

Commenting on the poll, BVI, the investment fund association, noted the share of pension schemes among investors in so-called spezialfonds, which are funds especially created for institutional investors in Germany, has increased from 11% to 13% between 2007 and 2008 and is now worth €84bn.