No new contracts will be signed from next year for insurance-based Pensionsfonds or Pensionskasse at German life insurer HDI Leben.

In a statement, the company said there were vehicles in the occupational pensions segment that were “neither profitable for HDI Leben nor its clients or for which there is almost no demand in the market”.

As examples, it cited insurance-based Pensionsfonds and Pensionskasse, also insurance-based.

HDI Leben said it would continue to offer occupational pensions and aim to increase business in the unit-linked Pensionsfonds it has provided together with its owner Talanx since 2012-13 via the €395m PB Pensionsfonds.

In its insurance-linked HDI Pensionsfonds, the company is managing €43m, and in its Pensionskasse it has €1.4bn.

Both products will “fulfil the contracts signed with clients” but be closed for new entries.

HDI told IPE it was aiming at “market leadership” in outsourcing and financing pension liabilities, adding that it expected demand for such solutions to increase, particularly among small and medium-sized enterprises.

It has also started the online portal HDI bAVnet together with service provider xbAV for the online administration and management of company pension plans.

Speaking at the recent aba conference in Cologne, Vjaceslavs Geveilers, senior actuarial services manager at PwC in Munich, said insurers had been increasingly introducing alternative guarantees for the last 2-3 years, and that he had recognised a trend towards lower guarantees in products. 

He acknowledged that most new products still focused on accrual rather than the payout phase, but he said he expected this would have to change, “not least because of biometric trends”.

Clemens Frey, a partner at PwC, said a lot of new products in Germany were “more complex”, which meant insurers had to adjust their actuarial models, risk assessment and internal control mechanisms.

He also predicted the regulator’s oversight of new products would be “more intense” in future. 

Meanwhile, the German government has proposed amendments to Pensionsfonds that could make payouts more attractive but also more volatile.

A first discussion in the parliamentary commission for labour and social affairs on Monday showed general support for the amendment.