Occupational pension at risk? The pension funds go to the collar

Wednesday, 15.02.12, written by Mario Müller

Updated on 22.03.12 – Approximately 6.4 million Germans pay into the so-called pension fund to later receive their occupational pension. About one million pensioners currently receive payments from the cash register. In total, a change in the pension scheme would therefore affect over 7 million workers and former employees. The reason for the planned changes, according to the European Commission, is above all the future securing of pensions. The company pension scheme would also be affected by the changes.


What exactly is planned

Currently, under the Solvency II project, life insurance policies are being tightened. Accordingly, the total amount of equity capital will be increased in order to meet the promised interest and payments in the future.


Demographic change has contributed to the problem of pension losses and burglaries. More and more retirees face fewer and fewer actual payers in the pension fund. It creates an imbalance that ultimately has to be borne by the insuring companies. However, there are too few reserves available to compensate for this imbalance. In order to ensure the payment of pensions and endowment policies in the future, the safety regulations for the companies providing services should now be tightened considerably. Especially in times of crisis and bankruptcies, the question arises as to whether insurance companies and employers are adequately secured.

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Life insurance vs. company pension

The EU Commission sees many similarities in both models. So they both promise guaranteed interest and any surplus payments. For this reason, Solvency II should now be extended to the company pension. For some experts, this comparison lags, however, because in the absence of occupational pensions, the current employees must be liable and in the event of bankruptcy of a company, the so-called pension insurance association is ready.

Too high demands on the pension funds

If the plans of the EU Commission are to be adhered to, the pension funds would have to be increased by an estimated 40 to 50 billion euros. However, this money is not available. Another change concerns the retirement age, which should be increased by at least another 2.5 years in all EU countries. That would raise the retirement age in Germany to 70 years.


It remains to be seen whether the planned changes can actually be implemented by the EU Commission or whether they fail because of the strong opposition of the individual EU governments and the seemingly impossible requirements.

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