The German financial supervisory authority, BaFin, has not yet given its green light to kick off the first social partner pension model put forward by insurer Talanx and union Ver.di.

The first such social partner pension model was expected to start on 1 July.

A Talanx spokesperson told IPE that the contracts for the social partner model were still awaiting BaFin approval.

The model, which would give 11,000 Talanx employees the opportunity to sign up to a pure defined contribution (DC) scheme, did not start yesterday as expected, the spokesperson confirmed.

Talanx, however, expects to receive approval from the regulator in the short term, the spokesperson added. The insurer is conducting a “very constructive dialogue” with BaFIn, the spokesperson added.

BaFin officials declined to comment on the reason for the approval delay and set timeframe for the first social partner pensions.

A spokesperson for BaFin told IPE that, in general, pure DC and the social partners model raise a large number of new questions as a new form of occupational pension.

“BaFin processes social partner models with high priority. It advises potential providers of the pure defined contributions but also the parties [involved in] the collective bargaining agreement,” the spokesperson added.

Before giving the go-ahead to the social partner model, BaFin would examine “all the documents on which the social partner model is based,” he added.

The regulator would check in particular the collective bargaining agreement, the agreement between the parties involved in the collective bargaining agreement and the institution running the occupational scheme, the technical calculation basis, pension plan, and the general insurance conditions.

It would also examine whether the companies are implementing a pure DC system in accordance with the requirements of the collective bargaining parties and the supervisory regulations.

The social partner model is only legally possible if the collective bargaining parties conclude an agreement and coordinate with BaFin.

Talanx and Ver.di finalised the agreement to kick-start the social partner pension model in March after two years of negotiations.

A consortium led by Deutsche Pensionsfonds and PB Pensionsfonds is ready to start the process to finance the social partner pensions.

The partners Talanx and Zurich have set up a Spezialfonds to invest employee contributions.The Spezialfonds will be split into two sub-funds, one investing exclusively in foreign equities, and the other investing in foreign bonds, said Fabian von Löbbecke, chief executive officer of HDI Pensionsmanagement and board member of HDI Lebensversicherung, part of insurer Talanx.

Talanx is also ready to launch a campaign to support the take up of social partner pensions among employees, regardless of the process to receive the approval from BaFin.

“Because many employees are away due to the summer holidays, we are postponing the starting date [of the campaign] in order to be able to inform everyone at the same time,” the spokesperson said.

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