German technology giant Siemens’s reserves for pensions and similar liabilities dipped to a historic low in the second quarter of this year following the transfer of a stake in Siemens Energy to its pension vehicle Siemens Pension-Trust eV, according to the company’s Q3 financial statement published yesterday.

Capital set aside on the balance sheet for pension pay-outs by Siemens fell to €1.7bn in the third quarter of this year, from €1.9bn in Q3 last year, and €6.4bn in the fiscal year 2022, according to the company’s figures. Siemens’s full corporate reporting year runs to 30 September.

The transfer of a 6.8% stake in Siemens Energy to the Pension-Trust, announced at the end of June, largely contributed to an increase in pension assets, while inflation-related adjustments in Germany had the opposite effect, the company said. Siemens transferred €850m of shares in Siemens Energy to its Pension-Trust vehicle in June, as IPE reported at the time.

The transfer followed a plunge in the share price of Siemens Energy after the company found a “substantial increase in failure rates of wind turbine components” at its subsidiary Siemens Gamesa, according to the company.

Siemens has cut its stake in Siemens Energy from 31.9% to 25.1%, and it will continue to reduce it, Siemens’ CEO Roland Busch said.  

The group lost €647m from its participation in Siemens Energy in the last quarter, although it booked a €318m profit from the transfer of the 6.8% stake to the Pension-Trust vehicle, CFO Ralf Thomas added.

Total global plan assets earmarked for pension payments stood at €26.7bn in the third quarter of this year at Siemens, up from €25.9bn in the second quarter, according to the statement.

Actual returns of plan assets fell quarter-on-quarter from 0.7% in Q2 to 0.1% in Q3, recovering however from negative returns recorded in three consecutive quarters last year. 

IPE’s 2023 European Pensions Guide, including asset breakdowns of the leading 1000 funds, will be published in September