GERMANY – Company contributions will be paid into the Bosch Pensionsfonds for the very first time - enhancing the scheme for its 110,000 employees in Germany.

This new structure was made possible through the national implementation of the EU pensions directive in September, said a statement from Bosch.

The Pensionsfonds - established in 2002 and the first to be established by a German industrial company as a result of new legislation - was initially designed only for employee contributions.

The Pensionsfonds is a “modern financing vehicle, which is independent of the company’s balance sheet and enjoys statutory insolvency protection”, said the statement.

“Harmonization with international accounting standards and the option of cross-border activities within the EU have significantly improved the conditions for German Pensionsfonds,” it added.

According to Bosch, this “innovative concept” is smoothing the way for a modern and enduring pension scheme.

“The pension fund’s yield-oriented investment policy enables employees to benefit from the opportunities offered by the capital market.

“Risks are minimized by a guarantee equal to the sum of the contributions paid and a portfolio protection concept. The new concept also limits future pension risks for the company,” Bosch said.

According to Bosch, the fund’s assets will exceed more than €500m in 2006. The scheme has a combined 133,000 employees and pensioners.

“At Bosch, pension provision can look back on a long tradition,” said the scheme.