GERMANY - German authorities should use the restructuring of the insurance supervisory law necessitated by Solvency II to create a separate set of rules for Pensionskassen, the Association of Corporate Pensionskassen, VFPK, has said.

In Germany, Pensionskassen are an insurance-based pension fund solution and are therefore integrated into the general legal framework for the supervision of insurers.

However, as the VFPK has pointed out, some regulations do not apply to Pensionskassen, and it is "hard for occupational pension schemes, especially regulated Pensionskassen, to identify the regulations that apply to them".

The association pointed out that this will become even harder once the Insurance Supervisory Law (Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz, or VAG) is rewritten to include Solvency II because the new regulations on solvency are "not applicable to occupational pension schemes".

The VFPK stressed that the regulations applying to Pensionskassen should be outlined in a separate law - or at least a separate paragraph within the VAG.

The association said: "Such a specification of regulations applicable to Pensionskassen would take the uniqueness and necessary independence of occupational pension schemes duly into consideration."

It stressed that such a step would help make the cooperation between supervisory authorities and Pensionskassen more effective and smoother, and foster more trust and transparency for insured and companies.

The VFPK added that a separate legal framework for pension funds was also used by the European Union.