The pension trust for the German carmaker Daimler has sold its stake in Renault for total proceeds of approximately €305m.

The 9.2 million shares owned by the pension trust in the French car manufacturer were sold after an accelerated bookbuilding run by BofA Securities and BNP Paribas as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners.

Nothing should change in the operational cooperation between the two car makers, it was announced.

Daimler confirmed the sale of the stake to IPE.

German lifeboat schemes set contribution rate

The Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein VVaG (PSVaG), the mutual insurance association for German occupational pension schemes, has set the contribution rate for members at 0.60‰ (promille) for the year 2021.

The PSVaG said that in July both the number and the volume of claims decreased compared with the same period in the year before, foreseeing a contribution rate below 2.8 ‰ (promille).

The positive trend seen in the first half of the year intensified in the course of the second half of 2021, leading to set a contribution rate well below that of previous years.

The lifeboat schemes currently believe that the conditions leading to an extraordinarily low contribution rate this year will not occur again in 2022, and the contribution rate will be significantly higher.

The contribution rate for members of the Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein VVaG was set at 4.2‰ (promille) in 2020, the highest level since 2009, compared with 3.1‰ (promille) in 2019.

Direct promises hold popular spot

The direct promise remains the most popular way to run occupational company pension scheme in Germany (60%), followed by support funds Unterstützungskasse with 26%, according to a study conducted by Willis Towers Watson.

Pensionskassen, instead, are unusually no longer opened to new members, therefore are falling to 1% in terms of preferred means to offer occupational pensions, WTW said.

The survey also showed that 93% of the surveyed companies have defined contribution-based company pension promises in place, with 71% relying on capital market-oriented interest rate models, either insurance or fund-based.

Matching models are meanwhile becoming very popular, with 33% of the employers matching contributions only to employees who make their own contributions to the pension scheme, and 46% paying out an additional contribution on top of the basic allowance.

Alliance against nuclear taxonomy at COP26

Five European Union member states have signed a joint declaration at COP26 in favour of a nuclear-free Taxonomy.

The ministries for the environment of Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Portugal and Denmark have urged the EU Commission “not to jeopardise the courageous path it has taken towards making the EU the global lead market for sustainable finance”, they said in the joint declaration.

The member states worry that the inclusion of nuclear power as a sustainable economic activity in the Taxonomy would “permanently damage its integrity, credibility and therefore its usefulness”.

Moreover, the ministries added, savers and investors would lose faith in financial products marketed as “sustainable”, fearing that buying those products would mean financing nuclear power activities.

The ministries also pointed to institutional investors voicing their opposition to include nuclear power as a sustainable activity in the Taxonomy and said their “voices should be heard”.

German and Austrian asset managers sent a letter to the Commission, which so far has not responded, asking not to classify nuclear energy as a sustainable economic activity under the taxonomy framework.

Austria plans tax on crypto gains

The Austrian government is planning a levy of 27.5% on gains generated through crypto currencies. The government will integrate crypto currencies into the existing taxation system, within the framework the proposed eco-social tax reform.

The tax will be imposed starting from 1 March 2022 and it will apply to crypto currencies purchased after 28 February 2021 within the framework.

Crypto currencies acquired prior to 28 February of this year are not subject to the new taxation regime but to the general tax regulations, for example for revenues stemming from speculative transactions.

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