GERMANY - New accounting rules and a higher levy charged by Germany's PSV pension insolvency fund could boost interest in the creation of Pensionsfonds, according to Febs Consulting in Munich.

The Financial Standard Reform Act, or BilMoG, which was introduced in Germany in April this year, will affect all companies whose financial year starts after 31 December 2009.

One of the reforms of current accounting standards, HGB, is a change in the discount rate for pension reserves, from the current fixed 6% to an average rate over several years. (See earlier IPE article: Who's afraid of BilMoG?)

While this in itself might be reason enough for companies to consider outsourcing their pension liabilities and assets, Febs Consulting said it sees the Pensionsfonds as the "possible winner" of this reform.

"The difference between the tax and the commercial accounts for pension assets is tax-deductible as operating expenditure, when outsourcing the assets to a Pensionsfonds," explained the consultancy.

Aside from this accounting benefit, the Pensionsfonds - as a way to outsource pensions - might also seem more attractive as the 2009 levy for the PSV was hiked to 1.42% at the beginning of November, Febs Consulting argued. (See earlier IPE story: Germany's PSV levy could quadruple)

As part of a package to make the Pensionsfonds more attractive after the concept was introduced in 2002, the German government cut the PSV levy by 80% for companies setting up a Pensionsfonds.