GERMANY – Towers Watson has gained approval from German authorities for a pension fund it will offer to its clients.

The Towers Watson Pensionsfonds AG will be headed by Michael Karst and Alfred Gohdes, both from the consultancy's management team.

The pension fund completes the consultancy's "pension platform", which already includes service offerings such as a contractual trust arrangement (CTA) and a support fund, or Unterstützungskasse.

Reiner Schwinger, managing director at Towers Watson Germany, said: "The Towers Watson Pensionsfonds is right for companies that appreciate the flexibility of a pension fund but do not want to set up or run their own fund."

The consultancy confirmed to IPE that companies with larger pension assets would be able to choose their own asset allocation within the independent platform while Towers Watson will also offer a standardised management and allocation package.

The consultancy said the Pensionsfonds would give companies the ability to fund the payout phase of a pension plan externally.

Further, it noted that all three vehicles within the platform could also be combined in order to transfer "accrued benefits in deferral from an internal to an external funding solution".

The Towers Watson Pensionsfonds joins 30 other such pension fund vehicles, introduced by the German government in 2011.

Of the 31 in existence, nine are company pension funds, which, according to Towers Watson, attracted the largest volume of contributions last year.