The higher regional court – Oberlandesgericht – in Frankfurt has rejected a claim from junior creditors against the German Pensionskasse for tax consultants (Deutsche Steuerberater-Versicherung Pensionskasse des steuerberatenden Berufs VVaG).
With the latest ruling, the higher regional court in Frankfurt confirmed the judgement of the regional court – Landgerichts – in May last year.
Both courts followed the opinion of Deutsche Steuerberater-Versicherung that the fund’s statutory restructuring procedure triggered “only subordinate liability for claims on the bond”, which include not only the claims on interests subject to the legal dispute.
In 2014, after consultation with the financial supervisory authority BaFin, the Deutsche Steuerberater-Versicherung issued new subordinated bonds with a total nominal value of €10m and a maturity of 10 years.
The Pensionskasse did not pay the interest on the bonds due in September 2019, September 2020 and September 2021, totalling approximately €1.3m. A representative of the bond holders, therefore, filed a lawsuit with the regional court in Frankfurt.
The pension fund for tax consultants is one of the institutions in Germany that has found itself in a dire financial situation after years of low interest rates.
Last year, the financial supervisory authority BaFin revoked its license to operate as a Pensionskasse, since the fund was unable to meet the minimum capital requirement and to submit an adequate financing plan to reduce underfunding.
The pension fund should pay subordinated capital and accrued interests of approximately €12.6m in total at the end of 2024, after it has completely phased out its operations, it said in a statement.
It is required, however, to continue to fulfill existing contracts up to the death of its last member.
Subordinated capital and accrued interests have thus become worthless for junior creditors, at least until the completion of the phase-out process that will last for a long time, the Pensionskasse said.
The Deutsche Steuerberater-Versicherung can meanwhile invest the corresponding amounts with an effect on its income for members, it added in the statement.
natural gas and nuclear energy does not change how we view these activities,” said NN IP’s chief sustainability officer Adrie Heinsbroek.