GERMANY - Independent financial advisor MLP says Germany’s new private pension, the so-called ‘Rürup Rente’ has had an excellent start since being launched last January 1.

Created as a result of government pension reforms in 2004, the Rürup pension – named after pensions expert Bert Rürup - is targeted mainly at the self-employed. Like the third-pillar version of the Riester pension, it offers tax incentives to encourage retirement saving.

In its first-quarter results, MLP said demand for the product had been so robust that it is “a major element of the MLP product portfolio alongside the Riester pension and occupational schemes”.

The firm did not disclose sales figures for Rürup or the other pensions products.

MLP said that on the back of strong demand for the pension products, it expected to raise pre-tax profit for all of 2005 by 14% to €100m.

MLP’s upbeat comments are just the latest sign that demand for second- and third-pillar pensions has picked up dramatically since historic government pension reforms of 2001.

Those reforms marked the true birth of Germany’s second- and third-pillar pensions.

Last week, MLP’s rival AWD said it was seeing a “boom” in company pensions as well as higher demand for new pension products. Also this month, German insurer AMB Generali said the Riester market was starting to gain momentum

In occupational pensions, MLP aims to double its share of that market to 8% by 2010, chiefly by acquiring German small- to midsize enterprises. To lead the effort, MLP in early 2004 hired Harald Huhn, a former personnel executive at German chemical giant BASF.