The German pension dashboard – Digitale Rentenübersicht – has gone live on 30 June with the Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder (VBL), the supplementary pension provider for public sector employees, Union Investment Privatfonds and the manager of first pillar pensions Deutsche Rentenversicherung being the first to connect to the platform.

Further providers of pension products will likely join the platform in the course of this year, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) said in a note last week, adding that the digital pension overview will undergo a public test phase until the end of the year.

It will start to operate regularly at the end of 2023, it added.

A prerequisite for additional pension funds to connect to the platform is that the institutions, or the IT service provider for the institution, can provide an application programming interface.

The central office for the digital pension overview – die Zentrale Stelle für die Digitale Rentenübersicht (ZfDR), a division of the Deutschen Rentenversicherung Bund – has developed the online portal with information on statutory, occupational and private pensions.

Users of the digital pension overview can authenticate themselves using the online ID function (eID), creating a profile and entering their tax identification number (IdNr). In a second step, the ZfDR checks the data and sends it to the pension fund.

The dashboard gives an overview of future entitlements, and not of current benefits. It gives additional information on individual pension entitlements to those already sent by the pension institutions that members will continue to receive.

The Pensions Overview Act – Rentenübersichtsgesetz – of 17 February 2021, laid the legal basis to start the first operating phase of the pension dashboard 21 months after the law was enforced.

Pension funds take part in the first operating phase of the platform on a voluntary basis, but a new rule should create the framework for their mandatory participation.

As a reaction to the rather slow connection process, the government is preparing an ordinance pursuant to Section 13 (3) RentÜG (Pensions Overview Act), according to the occupational pension association Aba.

The ordinance will set a date for second pillar pension providers including direct insurance plans, Pensionskassen and Pensionsfonds to join the dashboard, granting a transitional period, it said.

The integration of other second pillar pension arrangements like direct promises (Direktzusage), support funds (Unterstützungskassen) or providers of civil servant pensions require a change to the law.

Pension schemes that are required to inform members at least once a year about their pension status must link to the ZfDR, according to a procedure manual published by the ZfDR.

The German pension tracking system with its dashboard will be embedded in the broader European Tracking Service (ETS).

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