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Pensionskassen see no growth again

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  • Pensionskassen see no growth again

GERMANY - Contributions to pensionskassen and pensionsfonds have stagnated for the second year in a row, according to GDV, the umbrella organisation of private insurers.

Gross premium income for life insurances, pensionskassen and pensionsfonds grew by 0.8% last year to €79.6bn.

The GDV had noted in 2007 that contributions to these vehicles were stagnating and blamed it on an unwillingness of people to make long-term commitments despite a much improved economic situation. (See earlier IPE article: Pensionskassen growth stagnates - GDV)

And with the economic situation having deteriorated considerably, the GDV does not now see a bright future for retirement provision.

“When people have little faith in the future they are more cautious when it comes to signing long-term retirement provision contracts,” said Jörg von Fürstenwerth, chairman of the main board at the GDV.

“People have to be made aware of their pension gaps and have to be motivated to buy the products.”

Elsewhere, existing retirement schemes in Germany seem to have managed the crisis reasonably well, as Watson Wyatt Heissmann confirmed the findings of DAX30 pension scheme research which it granted IPE an exclusive preview of last week. (See earlier IPE article: German pensions ‘comparatively sound’ - WWH)

The consultancy has added scheme liabilities fell to €179.2bn from €196.7bn in 2007 because of an increase in bond interest rates.

WWH has so far looked at 77% of all DAX30 companies but evidence suggested assets in the schemes have also dropped 16.2% to €112.7bn.

Similarly, consultancy Bode Hewitt also noted at a meeting in Munich this week that the risks of occupational pension provision “remain manageable” for German companies though the requirements to the systems and the methods of managing risk have increased considerably given today’s market environment.

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