GERMANY – Two staff at industrial giant Siemens’ corporate pensions department are to leave, including senior consultant Alexander Neszvecso.

Neszvecso is to leave the company next month. He will step down from its role at the end of July to work for the pension scheme of the European Patent Office in Munich. He will be portfolio manager for European equities, reporting to Silvio Vecchi.

It is not clear whether Siemens’ has found a replacement for Neszvecso. Wolfgang Lotze, head of corporate pensions was not available for comment. Also leaving is Stephanie Feigt, who will join Bank Leu in Zurich.

Last February Lotze replaced Klaus Kirschenhofer, who left after joining the fund almost three years ago.

Higher than expected returns in the first quarter as well as supplemental contributions – has cut the underfunding of Siemens’ main pension plans to around €1.1bn – from €3.1bn.

The company said in a statement that the principal pension plans’ funding status had significantly improved as of March 31 2005.

The assets had returned €936m in the previous six months –a 10.1% return on an annualised basis, against an expected annualised return of 6.7%.