GERMANY- The German chemical employers association, the Bundesarbeitgeberverband Chemie (BAVC) has entered into a ‘social’ partnership with the industry’s executives and managers representative body, the Verband angestellter Akademiker und leitender Angestellter (VAA), to offer and advise on occupational pensions and other retirement provision products.

The deal has been struck because the VAA’s 27,000 strong members, comprised mainly of scientists, engineers and salespeople, are not eligible to join the much larger sector-wide pension fund company being launched by the BAVC and the chemical industry’s trade union, Industriegewerkschaft Bergbau, Chemie, Energie ( IG-BCE).

A spokesman for the BAVC says that with the price bargaining agreement struck with IG-BCE, the BAVC was required under the pensions reform in Germany to address the issue of occupational pension provision and devise ways of offering new schemes. Although this wasn’t applicable to managers and executives, the BAVC decided it would be prudent to include them as much as possible, hence the ‘social’ partnership.

“We aren’t bound by law to help the VAA’s members, but given the recent emphasis industries and governments have been placing on informing and advising people to start saving for their retirement other than in the traditional Pensionskassen, we thought we might as well extend our services to the VAA,” he comments.

The spokesman says that the BAVC, in conjunction with the VAA, will recommend that the VAA’s members start a new scheme altogether or take out a complementary scheme from a choice of five different savings vehicles, including Anglo-Saxon style pension funds and direct insurance plans.

“Though many may already be covered in a Pensionskasse, managers and executives are not immune to the demographic changes and their impact on the socio-economic environment. The fact that many aren’t covered by the trade unions puts them at an immediate disadvantage. We hope, and I can only speak for the chemicals industry here, that this new agreement will help redress the balance.”