GERMANY - Taking over the pension of insolvent energy industry service provider Babcock-Borsig has substantially increased Swiss Life's assets in the Pensionskassen business from €200m to €700m.

The transfer of 19,000 members and €500m in assets has catapulted Swiss Life into the group of the largest providers of industry independent Pensionskassen in Germany.

Many large multi-employer schemes in Germany are confined to a certain industry like MetallRente or Pensionskasse für die Deutsche Wirtschaft, sometimes even to a certain region like the Nordhreinische Ärzteversorgung.

Other industry independent Pensionskasse solutions are provided by many of the large insurers including Allianz, Victoria, Debeka and Gothaer.

"Babcock conducted talks with several providers and also approached us," a spokesperson for Swiss Life Germany confirmed to IPE.

The defined contribution scheme is completely transferred to Swiss Life under a contract which guarantees the benefits last negotiated.

"Up until now, the Babcock Pensionskasse had the right to cut benefits when necessary but from the point of transfer all benefits are guaranteed," Swiss Life pointed out.

The current offices of the Babcock Pensionskasse in Oberhausen near Düsseldorf will be abandoned and nine employees are being offered new jobs in Munich, approximately 600 kilometres away.

The Babcock Pensionskasse was opened for non-group employees in 2004 but in the following years it suffered from underfunding, and this led to cuts in new pension promises.

In the same year, insolvency proceedings began in relation to the bankrupt parent company Babcock-Borsing.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email