GERMANY - Chemie Pensionsfonds and HVB Pensionsfonds, two equity-oriented pension vehicles owned by German bank HVB, expect to take in €500m in assets by 2010 following the government’s decision to strengthen Pensionsfonds’ competitiveness.

The government transposition of the EU pension fund directive has permitted companies to transfer pension assets held as book reserves to the funds at much lower cost. Those reserves currently account for 60% of the €367bn in total pension assets.

Martin Großmann, chief executive of Chemie & HVB Pensionsfonds, welcomed the move, saying it would significantly boost the international competitiveness of the vehicles.

As a result, “we have set a goal of taking in €500m in assets at both of our Pensionsfonds by 2010,” Großmann said.

He added that a tie a Pensionsfonds from insurer Alte Leipziger and a pensions consultancy would be deepened.

Launched in April 2002, Chemie Pensionsfonds serves 800,000 employees in the chemicals industry. HVB Pensionsfonds is open to all industries.

Chemie has been the only vehicle to generate any business, having signed up 14,000 employees – taking its assets to €40m.

However, Chemie Pensionsfonds notes that it has acquired 435 firms in the chemical industry to date. These firms in turn employ one-quarter of its ultimate client potential of 800,000.