GERMANY - The new head of the aba, the association for occupational pensions in Germany, has told the government not to focus too much on third-pillar pensions.

Germany's coalition government recently launched a comprehensive debate on old-age poverty and recommended reviewing the conditions for granting a state-subsidised, private Riester-Rente.

However, aba chairman Heribert Karch said that while the third pillar was "a good addition", it was "too expensive and error-prone" to secure a certain living standard.

He said the expansion of the second pillar should be prioritised in the debate.

"According to the most recent findings by the federal statistical office, there are companies and industries with virtually no danger of old-age poverty because of a long tradition of occupational pensions, or because of bargaining agreements including such schemes," Karch said.

Karch said he was convinced the danger of people becoming poor after they had stopped working was a product of the "still inadequate second pillar of the pension system - occupational pension schemes".

Karch was elected the new chairman at aba at the association's annual general meeting in May, taking over from Boy-Jürgen Andresen.