Deutsche Bahn pension fund cites onerous regulation for merger decision

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  • Deutsche Bahn pension fund cites onerous regulation for merger decision

GERMANY – The managers of the Schenker Pensionskasse in Germany have blamed "exuberant regulation" for their recent decision to join a multi-employer pension fund.

The Hamburger Pensionsverwaltung e.G. (HPV), a multi-employer collective fund and pension service provider, has taken responsibility for asset and risk management at the €260m pension fund for the logistics subsidiary of German federal railway corporation Deutsche Bahn.

From 2014, other administrative tasks will be transferred as well.

The HPV which will now manage seven pension funds in total with accumulated assets of €7.2bn.

Robert Windischmann, chairman at the Schenker Pensionskasse, said onerous regulatory requirements had forced the issue for the scheme.

"A major part of our work is no longer dedicated to the members but to fulfilling bureaucratic requirements," he said.

He said the European Commission's announcement that it would unveil a revised IORP Directive in the autumn focusing on greater transparency and reporting merely "confirmed" the pension fund's decision. 

"A single Pensionskasse can no longer cope with that," he said.

Windischmann said the merger would help cut administrative costs and give the Schenker Pensionkasse access to new asset classes.

Hans Stapelfeldt, chairman at the HPV, said the independence of Schenker Pensionskasse would be preserved under the new management.

Within the HPV, the seven pension funds are managed in separate portfolios according to their risk and asset management strategies, according to Stapelfeldt.

For 2012, the performances for the various portfolios ranged from 8% for a small Pensionskasse with a relatively short-term investment horizon to 11.4% for a large Pensionskasse with a long-term strategy, he added.

In total, the HPV manages around 670,000 members, the large majority being active employees in their respective companies.

The largest company pension fund within the HPV is the Hamburger Pensionskasse (HPK), with 650,000 members.

Other Pensionskassen include Frankona, a subsidiary of Swiss Re; Henkel; and Phoenix, part of the Continental group.

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