The Austrian subsidiary of the Generali insurance group will transfer its company pension fund to a multi-employer provider, the €500m Bonus Pensionskasse.

Generali (12.5%) and Zurich insurance company (87,5%) are co-owners of the retirement service provider, which is offering a Pensionskasse, a provident fund and the consultancy business Concisa.

The merger is not yet official but was announced in the invitation to the Generali Pensionskassen’s AGM.

Market participants familiar with the deal have also confirmed the news.

Bonus told IPE it could not comment until the deal was closed.

The merger could still happen this year together with the much larger integration of the Victoria Volksbanken Pensionskasse (VVPK) into the Bonus Pensionskasse.

Bonus had won the bidding for the €660m VVPK, which will more than double its assets once both deals are finalised.

With the outsourcing of the Generali pension plan, the number of real company pension funds in Austria has now fallen to five – energy provider EVN, semiconductor manufacturer Infineon, car company Porsche, the social insurance for self-employed people SVA and the Austrian branch of computer giant IBM.

In recent years, Unilever, Shell, local energy provider Verbund and Austrian economic chamber WKÖ, among others, have outsourced their pension plans to multi-employer providers, most often citing increased complexity in regulation and asset management.

Other smaller Pensionskassen, however, such as the one offered by EVN, remain company-owned but are managed by multi-employer plans – in this case, VBV.

Meanwhile, a symposium on pensions was held in the Austrian Parliament earlier this week to inform MPs about current trends in the three pillars of the pension system.

Bernd Marin, pensions expert and new director at the Webster University in Vienna, told delegates that Pensionskassen “need to be more attractive” to offer more people the chance for supplementary savings for their retirement.

He urged the government to allow employees to make unlimited additional tax-free contributions to pension plans.

The current cap is set at €300 annually.

He also called for more flexible investment rules for Pensionskassen.

Additionally, all bargaining agreements should include an option to join a pension plan, he said, a demand the pension fund association FVPK has made repeatedly