GERMANY - The association of German company pension funds (VFPK) has re-elected its board and appointed new board members to better prepare for upcoming regulatory debates.

The association representing more than 3,900 companies and their Pensionskassen, which manage more than €42bn, has re-elected Peter Hadasch, head of pensions at Nestlé Germany, as chairman of the board - a position he has held since the founding of the VFPK in 2005.

Helmut Aden, board member at the BVV insurance association for the banking sector, and Norbert Schulte-Mattler, chairman of the board at the Philips Pensionskasse, were re-elected as deputy chairmen.

New to the board is Carsten Ebsen, board member at the Hamburger Pensionsverwaltung.

Thomas Pralle, board member at the Hoechst-Pensionskasse, has returned to the VFPK-board, which he had already been a member of between 2005 and 2008.

In a statement, the VFPK said: "Given the political and expert discussions on securing retirement provision, the board is facing a greater challenge of adopting a position and introducing its know-how in the sustainably designing occupational pensions."

It noted that this was the reason for extending the board from three to five members and for assigning each member a different topic.

Hadasch will be responsible for public relations, Aden for insurance supervision, Schulte-Mattler for asset management and supervision in this field, Ebsen for duties (taxes, social insurance, health insurance) and Pralle for pension fund organisation, business operations and the risk management directive MARisk.

Hadasch said: "This allows us to strengthen the input from our member companies even further and to better make use of it for the association's political work.

"Retirement provision systems are very complex and designed in very different ways - this means politicians, of course, have to rely on advice by experts."

Over the coming months, the association will mainly focus on Solvency II, as well as the "identification of suitable investment strategies in low-interest environments", the VFPK said.