GERMANY - The Kölner Pensionskasse is set to manage the first pension fund for employees of Jewish communities in Germany.

A Versorgungswerk for employees working for any of the approximately 100 Jewish communities or affiliated organisations was set up at the request of the Jewish community.

Similar pension funds already exist for other religious communities in Germany, mainly Catholic and Protestant churches.

The Kölner Pensionskasse, founded by the pension fund of the Catholic aid organisation Caritas, was approached by the Jewish community in Berlin to present a possible pension scheme, a spokesperson for the €115m multi-employer fund told IPE.

German consumer magazine Öko-Test has recently given a positive evaluation of the Pensionskasse, the Jewish community noted on its choice for a partner organisation.

For employees of Jewish communities, the Pensionskasse will offer occupational pension plans, while self-employed people like doctors can also get a so-called Rürup-Rente - a third-pillar provision - through the fund.

The money will be managed as part of the other assets in the Kölner Pensionskasse, which invests "very conservatively", the spokesperson said.

According to the latest available annual report, the Pensionskasse managed a 4% return on its investments in 2008, with an equity quota of just under 30%, most of which is hedged.

Following an ALM-study in summer 2009, the Pensionskasse was planning to increase diversification in its equity and real estate exposure.