GERMANY -  Only six Pensionskassen failed their stress tests for the year to the end of 2009, according to BaFin, the German supervisory authority.

By comparison, the number of Pensionskassen failing the stress test climbed from eight in 2007 to 12 in 2008.

The total number of Pensionskassen undergoing tests came to 153 over the period, with 23 being exempt due to low-risk profiles.

In its annual report for 2009, BaFin noted none of the Pensionskassen failed the test by much and that most had managed to recover within the year by implementing recovery measures.

Thomas Steffen, head of BaFin, said: "The Pensionskassen and Pensionsfonds under supervision have managed to get through the crisis quite well because of their long-term conservative investments, risk management, buffers and a vigilant supervisor."

He said over the last two years the supervisory authority had to accompany some insurers and occupational pension vehicles "very closely", among them seven Pensionskassen and Pensionsfonds.

Steffen said Pensionsfonds were less in danger of suffering problems with solvency because they took fewer risks in their investments.

On average, the funding level of Pensionskassen increased from 118% to 124% over the last year.

"Over the long-term, and I'm stressing long-term, the low-interest environment could lead to problems for the occupational pension vehicles, but for the next years, the system remains stable, with the risk capacity decreasing," Steffen said.

He added that BaFin was currently monitoring "above average" investment in Greek government bonds by one German Pensionskasse and one Pensionsfonds, but declined to disclose any names.