GERMANY - TÜV Nord, which certifies that cars meet legal requirements, has acquired an occupational pension from German life insurer Volksfürsorge for its 7,000 employees.

Volksfürsorge said it would set up two separate schemes at TÜV Nord, a direct insurance contract as well as support funds. There are another three forms of corporate pension administration in Germany.

Volksfürsorge did not quantify the annual contributions it expected from the two schemes. The assets will be managed by AMB Generali Asset Managers, which like Volksfürsorge, is part of the AMB Generali insurance group.

According to its annual report for 2004, Hannover-based TÜV Nord had pre-tax profit of €17.3m on sales of €600.7m. It said that 96% of its pension obligations were fully funded.

The TÜV Nord mandate is the latest in a series that Volksfürsorge has won since Hans Melchiors joined it as head of occupational pensions in August of 2004. Melchiors was formerly chief executive of Chemie Pensionsfonds, an equity-oriented vehicle targeted to Germany’s chemical industry.

Volksfürsorge’s other recent mandates include setting up pension schemes for 4,000 employees at the University of Leipzig’s medical clinic and for 12,000 employees at LBK Hamburg, a big hospital operator with €775m in annual sales.

Volksfürsorge is a major player in German occupational pensions, having taking in €4.5bn in contributions between 2000 and 2004 from schemes it offers German companies.

Last month, it acquired Pensor Pensionsfonds, an equity-oriented pension vehicle targeted to small and midsize companies.