GERMANY – Industrial group Robert Bosch has outsourced the administration of its German pension schemes, including its Anglo-Saxon style Pensionsfonds, to German consultant Heissmann in one of the biggest mandates of this kind ever.
In Germany, the pension schemes of Bosch – a maker of auto components and electrical appliances – insure around 133,000 employees in Germany.
Heissmann said its mandate encompassed not only Bosch’s Pensionsfonds, an equity-oriented defined contribution scheme, but all the firm’s schemes in Germany. The Wiesbaden-based consultant and actuarial firm did not disclose the worth of the mandate.
With assets expected to reach €500m by the end of 2006, Bosch’s Pensionsfonds only finances a small portion of the €7bn in total pension liabilities on the firm’s balance sheet.
However, Bosch noted that it had hired Heissmann to assist it in the further development of its German pension schemes. Earlier this year, Bosch began providing an employer top-off to the Pensionsfonds scheme, which is 80% invested in equities.
A Bosch spokesman was not able to comment on any possible job losses arising out of the deal, though Heissmann said that as far is it knew none would go.
“We have demonstrated our ability to innovate in German corporate pensions by unveiling the Pensionsfonds. Against this backdrop, it was essential for us to centralise administration of our corporate pension schemes within one provider,” said Bernhard Wiesner, head of corporate pensions at Robert Bosch.
“Now as we continue down this path, it is important to us to have a company supporting us which is experienced and sees our needs as its core competence,” Wiesner added.
For Heissmann’s part, managing director Rainer Schmidt said the Bosch brief – one of the biggest ever in German corporate pensions – would “send a signal to other German companies”.
As part of the mandate, Heissmann is launching internet-based pension accounts for each Bosch employee in Germany. According to the consultant, the employee can, on a daily basis, see the status of the pension plan and estimate the amount of retirement provision.