The Digitale Rentenübersicht – digital pension overview – the German online portal that will combine information on statutory, company and private pension entitlements, “is about to be launched” at the the end of the year, Rolf Schmachtenberg, secretary of state at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs said at an European Tracking Service (ETS) event held at Humboldt University in Berlin last week.

The digital pension overview will start with a small number of pension funds voluntarily taking part in the project, he said.

Konrad Haker, vice-chair of the steering committee at the central agency of the German digital pension overview (Zentrale Stelle für die Digitale Rentenübersicht), which is to develop the dashboard, added, however, that in the medium term the goal is to require pension providers to connect to the portal and send members information regularly.

The German government is, for now, taking a step-by-step approach to put the dashboard in place, first testing it, and then assessing the project with pension funds and members to transition to “normal operations”, Schmachtenberg explained.

The German pension tracking system with its dashboard will be embedded in the broader ETS project.

The German digital pension portal will give an overview of pension entitlements already achieved and that can still be achieved by beneficiaries, with information on pension products and background information on social security contributions, or disability and survivors´ insurance, among others, Schmachtenberg said.

Users can access the digital pension overview through a portal looking at the data collected from pension funds.

The German pension system has “particular features” that are a challenge to the pension dashboard project, he said, adding that Germany has a large number of pension funds – more than 10,000 – offering different pension products, and several options to implement occupational pension schemes.

Connecting all the pension funds to a tracking service is an “extremely difficult task”, he added.

The UK pension system, which is getting ready to implement a similar dashboard next year, has seen similar concerns over the complexities of data collection and maintenance. 

The Deutsche Rentenverischerung Bund, the institution managing first pillar pensions, has been tasked with the implementation of the pension dashboard, he added, given the “high level of trust” that it has among citizens.

The association of statutory, occupational and private pension funds, the consumer protection association Stiftung Warentest, and the ministries of Finance, and Labour and Social Affairs, are members of the steering committee that is involved in technical decisions relating to the dashboard, Schmachtenberg explained.

It was a conscious decision to only include six people in the steering committee so that it is able to make decisions efficiently, he added.

Digital pension overview

The digital pension overview – Digitale Rentenübersicht – is an online portal that, for the first time, combines information on entitlements from statutory, company and private pensions and displays it centrally.

Users will receive an overview of the pension benefits they have received and that are likely to be achieved by the time they retire. Savers who have already built up entitlements in the statutory, company or private pension schemes in Germany can use the digital pension overview portal.

They can access the portal through an authentication process using an ID card or electronic authentication. The digital pension overview provides additional information on pensions and it will not replace the detailed pension information that beneficiaries receive from the statutory pension system.

The pension dashboard has been developed by the Zentrale Stelle für die Digitale Rentenübersicht (the central agency of the German digital pension overview) set up at the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

The German parliament has passed the law on the development and introduction of a digital pension overview (Pension Overview Act - RentÜG).

The development and the first phase of operation of the portal, in the years 2021-23, will cost close to €20m. Operating the portal after the test phase will cost €4.5m per year. The costs will be borne by the federal government.

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