AUSTRIA – A legal counsel group tied to Austria’s justice ministry has asked pension consultant Buck Heissmann to find a provider of a defined contribution scheme for its 370 employees.

According to Buck Heissmann’s Vienna office, the provider will ideally be an Austrian life insurer or a German one “which meets Austrian legal requirements”.

Major German life insurers offer DC arrangements and market leader Allianz is already present in Austria with a Pensionskasse (multi-employer scheme).

Buck Heissmann said contributions from the group would total €260,000 in the first year of the scheme. “This is well above the normal threshold of €211,000 over the first three years,” it added.

The group’s employees do not currently have a corporate pension, only the state one.

Set up by Austria’s justice minister, the Vienna-based group provides legal assistance to specific people, including lawyers, patients and tenants.

Meanwhile, rating agency Moody's said it welcomed the Austrian government’s reform initiatives of recent years to secure long-term sustainability of the public pension system.

But it was “not clear yet to what extent older employees can actually be absorbed by the labour market”.