Research by by Buck Heissmann has found that: Firstly, international companies doing business in Germany tend to use book reserves and combine it with asset backing. Secondly, a study on 'Best practices of pension plan finance in Germany' conducted for Goldman Sachs re-veals that German companies show a far greater propensity in favour of investing pension assets in the capital markets than it can be expected from the national average market share of book reserve plans (ap-proximately 60%).

A majority of major companies in Germany own earmarked assets linked to the book reserve pension plan in the form of 'Spezialfonds' investment funds , that invest primarily in equity. Including the asset backing of book reserves and taking into account the fact that practically all of the external assets are stated at their book value, which is somewhat lower than the market value, it is es-timated that more than 60% of total pension liabilities in Germany are covered by external portfolio assets.