The German government has started a dialogue with social partners, associations and academics to push forward the reform of its second pillar pension system.

The federal ministry of labour and social affairs (BMAS) and the ministry of finance (BMF) have invited occupational pension association aba, a large number of social partners, associations and academics to send written responses on specific topics to improve occupational pension provisions.

BAMS expects to receive feedback by 15 November.

“The responses will then be evaluated. Discussions or further written exchanges may then take place. The aim is to present an initial draft of reform measures in mid-2023,” aba’s managing director Klaus Stiefermann told IPE.

According to aba, the ministries structured the dialog listing topics including improvements in labour law, for example focusing on the scope of employers’ liabilities, guarantees, costs of deferred compensations, improvements in financial supervision law through investment options leading to higher returns, more flexibility for pension funds, sustainable forms of investment forms, and ESG.

Other topics include improvements in tax law (low-income subsidies), and further development of the social partner model, it added.

“We are currently working on our responses. Right now we are involving all our committees. We have already presented a large number of our demands at the annual conference. We also highlighted the need for action on regulatory issues,” Stiefermann said.

The government is now working on the Rentenpaket II to secure a minimum level of pension in the first pillar pension system, and on setting up a fund in the statutory pension system to invest globally, based on the Swedish model, according to the plan presented by Bettina Schwindt, representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, at an event organized by aba last week.

Finance minister Christian Lindner visited the state pension fund AP7 in Sweden to find out more about the investment strategy with a view to implement the so-called Aktienrente, or statutory equity pension, in Germany.

With the Rentenpaket III, instead, the government plans to tackle issues relating to the self-employed, according to the presentation.

“We are in talks with the minister of finance on the Rentenpaket II. If it was up to me, we would present a draft law in a timely manner so that it can then be passed in the Parliament (Bundestag) next year,” the minister of labour and social affairs Hubertus Heil said in an interview with the Neuen Passauer Presse.

The government intends to strengthen and expand the second pillar occupation pension system. The number of employees entitled to occupational pensions has increased to 21 million, but in small companies with less than 10 employees only 29% are entitled to an occupational pension, and low-earners tend not to sign up for a company pension, according to the presentation.

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