GERMANY - German insurance company R+V will offer low earners second pillar pension products.

Around seven million Germans are currently working in "minijobs" - many of them in catering or trade - which means they earn less than €400 per month per job but are often working at more than one company.

So far, these people have been more or less excluded from the occupational pension sector because employers often did not include them in their offers and they themselves had too little money to contribute to a Pensionskasse.

While several pension fund providers are already including minijobbers in their offerings, take-up has been quite slow as many employers do not see the benefits.

But Pensionskassen have argued that giving any payrise in the form of contribution to a pension fund avoids losing the status of a minijobber, whose earnings are capped at €400 per month.

R+V now also includes overtime payments which means employers are not paying additional work in cash but in pension contributions.

"This is also an advantage for the employer as contributions to a pension fund are exempt from social contributions, which means one hour of work becomes cheaper," R+V noted in a press release.

The new model developed together with the association of minijobbers - minijobrente e.V. - is aimed at the 3.5m people permanently employed in these roles.

Just as with "normal" Pensionskassen benefits, the accrued assets can be transferred between funds on changing jobs.