GERMANY – The new Riester occupational pension schemes need to be more flexible and simplified if they are to be a success according to Udo Behrenwaldt, a spokesman for the board of the BVI, the German asset management association.

Behrenwaldt says the BVI, like other institutions, is disappointed by the take-up rate of new pension schemes and suggests it won’t improve unless the government commissions a radical shake-up of the regulatory framework surrounding them.

“The new Riester occupational pensions system in particular lacks freedom of choice and is inefficient. The choices that exist at the moment are too stringent. We have to act now to broaden the new system’s appeal,” he says.

The BVI says one solution is to create a distinct pension fund system in the workplace that offer savings plans and investment funds as a real alternative to the traditional direct insurance funds.

Moreover, it says in the interests of all concerned – employees, employers and service providers alike - it is ready to work with the insurance industry in promoting and developing the new pensions system in Germany.