GERMANY – The German public savings bank network, the Deutsche Sparkassen- und Giroverband (DSGV) and its fund management arm, DGZ DekaBank, has formally established three new retirement provision companies with the German public insurers’ association.

The move, as reported by IPE Newsline last October, was widely anticipated and confirms the public banking and insurance industries’ desire to remain at the forefront of occupational pension provision in Germany.

Says Dr Dietrich H. Hoppenstedt, president of the DSGV: “With this step we have created a central platform from which we can offer a full range of services…the Sparkasse network finds itself in a favourable position, given its federal wide integrated product range and presence.”

The new operations comprise a holding company, Beteiligungsgesellschaft für betriebliche Altersversorgung der Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe (BbASF), in which DGZ DekaBank and the public insurers association will each hold 50%. There are two additional subsidiaries- Sparkassen Pensionsfonds AG and Sparkassen Pensionskasse AG- wholly-owned by BbSAF.

The Sparkassen Pensionskasse will offer a combination of insurance products and savings funds. “The combined marketing and operating skills of the DGZ DekaBank and the public insurers’ association will ensure these new companies a successful place in the new pensions market,” suggests Dr Heiko Winkler, president of the public insurers’ association.

BbSAF will be led by Ulf Peters, member of the board of directors of the public insurers’ association and Armin Holzmüller, member of the board of the Bavarian insurance chamber.
Hans-Jürgen Gutenberger, member of the board of DGZ DekaBank, will become chairman of BbSAF’s supervisory board.

“The growth potential for the new occupational pensions market in Germany is enormous,” comments Gutenberger. “In the US, some seven billion dollars go into occupational pension funds each year, representing 90% of GDP, whilst in Germany it represents just 3%,” he adds.