GERMANY – Europe’s largest telecoms group, Deutsche Telekom (DT), has struck a collective bargaining agreement with recently formed giant trade union, Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (Ver.di), whereby it will convert its pension arrangements, in line with the Riester pension reform in Germany, to include a capitalised pension fund element.

Though no details concerning the investment management and strategy of the new fund are yet available, the DT agreement could potentially mean a huge pension fund of more than 150,000 DT employees across Germany. There will be a review to select an external asset manager for the fund.

As with other industries, the new arrangement will be offered as a complement to the existing, traditional Pensionskasse system.

Says a spokesperson for DT: “We hope that the new pension model will encourage people to start putting money aside more independently and to rely less on the overburdened book reserve system.”

The latest announcement confirms the trend in Germany for unions and industry to include pensions arrangements in collective bargaining talks in the run up to next year, when the pensions reform is implemented.

Other recent announcements include schemes planned for the metal and chemical workers sectors, as reported by IPE-Newsline, as well as the construction workers industry (940,000 members), the retail trade sector (1.6m members) and the confectionery industry (50,000 members).