GERMANY – The tender process for selecting investment managers for the German metal and electronics workers’ new retirement provision company, as reported by IPE-Newsline in September, has entered its second phase, with three of the original nine players left in contention, and other industries ready to participate.

“We originally planned to have a dedicated investment manager announced by mid-November, but this has been put back a few weeks, as a result of a few minor problems in round one,” says a spokesperson for IG Metall, which, in conjunction with the metal and electronic workers employers’ association, Gesamtmetall, is behind the new scheme.

The final decision could see just one or a combination of managers being selected for an investment fund company that has a potential membership of 3.6 million customers, though it’s not exclusively open to metal and electronic workers. The numbers will be further swelled by the news that 100,000 steel industry workers that have agreed to join the scheme.
“Negotiations are well underway to bring around 160,000 textile and timber industry workers on board as well,” confirms IG Metal’s spokesperson.

The new scheme will take the form of a dedicated, independent company, called Metall-Rente, which will be based in Berlin and have two managing directors, each representing one of the two founding bodies. Hans-Werner Busch joins from Gesamtmetall, whilst Haribert Karch joins from IG Metall.

The new company will be a financial services provider that will support the chosen investment manager and oversee the allocation of funds into pension funds, the traditional Pensionskassen and direct insurance schemes, as these will be the investment vehicle offered to the company’s members.

IG Metall’s chairman, Klaus Zwickel, believes that the creation of the new sector-wide pensions companies across Germany’s large and diverse industrial landscape heralds a renaissance in the country’s supplementary occupational pension scheme industry that will outdo the private market. “We are no longer just talking about the future, we are making it, and our retirement provision packages are already more attractive than any private plans being offered by banks and insurance companies,” he says.

According to Zwickel, current calculations mean that anyone earning DM 50,000 per year, saving a given amount over 30 years with the new Metall-Rente model, can expect an extra DM 1,244 per month when they retire, compared to DM 1,048 from individual private schemes.