GERMANY - The German chemical industry’s sector-wide supplementary pension fund, Chemie Pensionsfonds, has produced a rate of return of 6.8% over the past year, says administrator HypoVereinsbank.

For the month of April 2003, the fund returned four percent, beating the scheme’s strategic worldwide benchmark. Target value for the year end is 6.4%, compared to an average target for insurance companies of four percent.

Commenting on the returns, Hans Melchior, chairman of the Chemie Pensionsfonds, said: “These returns put us at the top of similar providers.”

One year after its establishment in April 2002, there are now around 400 companies signed up to the occupational pension scheme of Chemie Pensionsfonds. Of the 200,000 employees, around 10,000 have joined – a number that Melchior says far exceeds expectations for the first year.

The German Insurance Association represents at present 17 pension funds with around 28,000 members and contribution volumes of 18.2 billion euros. With Chemie Pensionsfonds’ members contributing around 1,000 euros a year, this makes the scheme the biggest open ‘pensionsfond’ is Germany.

Chemie Pensionsfonds marked the first of the new pensions vehicles in Germany, set up by the German federation of chemical employers’ associations (BAVC) and the mining, chemical and energy Industry union (IG BCE) to provide a scheme for all employers in the chemical industry and those organisations with close links. ECOFIN was appointed as a neutral investment advisor and manager selector. HVB’s sister firm, Pension Consult, provides the marketing for the fund.