GERMANY – Talks about a pension scheme for the 2.8m member German metal workers’ sector could already start this autumn, says Klaus Stieferman, managing director of the Heidelberg based ABA pensions association.

The problem is that the employee side is not currently interested in starting the talks because the regular collective bargaining in the industry is scheduled for next year. However, such talks often start in advance in order for both parties to map out the ground, says Stieferman.

“In the newspapers you read about this now and then but the situation is that what they really want is to make use of the upcoming law that allows the employee to ask for an occupational pension fund,” says Stieferman.
“At the moment, they are giving all these interviews and so on, kind of doing part of the pre-negotiating,” he adds.

Both the employer side and the workers’ union, IG Metall, are discussing within their organisations about the complicated pension fund issues, and once they have come to their conclusions the active bargaining starts, says Stieferman

The German government is looking at the introduction of contribution orientated benefit plans, a hybrid of version of defined contribution and defined benefit schemes.