This year’s Swiss Life Pension Day, jointly organised by Swiss Life and SLPM Schweizer Leben PensionsManagement, took place in Munich on 14 October, under the title: “Company Pensions against the Backdrop of the Financial Crisis”. The event was chaired by Professor Bert Rürup, initiator of the Rürup-Rente pension scheme. Guests were invited from all areas of the economy, as well as from unions and public institutions.
The first speaker of the day was Gregor Gysi, Chairman of the parliamentary group Die Linke, who gave a rousing talk on “Pension insurance funds in a crisis of confidence.” Mr Gysi discussed problems with consultation, cuts in the state pension, and the situation of private pension funds in the current financial crisis. He presented various solutions, including obligatory state pension contributions for the self-employed, and the lifting of the assessment ceiling. In his opinion, company and private pension schemes are an important additional top-up insurance. He also emphasised the importance of making politics understandable for everyone.

Wolfgang Grupp, owner of Trigema and one of Germany’s most successful entrepreneurs, used his talk to offer a convincing case for Germany as a company location. In his presentation entitled “Germany – a location with a future!”, he used the example of Trigema to argue that Germany is one of the best places in the world to manufacture top-quality products, and to speak out strongly against the relocation of companies abroad, especially if they produce high-quality goods.

Aristid Neuburger, owner of Beltios GmbH, discussed “Financing company pensions”. He explained the main issues when calculating pension premiums and payments, and used case studies to demonstrate the various capital requirements for different scenarios, making the role of interest and mortality rates clear in the calculations.

Friedemann Lucius, Managing Director of AON Consulting GmbH, spoke on: “Will the real costs of company pensions become transparent with the Bill to Modernise Accounting Law (BilMoG)?”. This comprehensive reform of trading law in Germany is an important issue for many companies and consultants. Mr Lucius gave a positive appraisal of the reform in the area of company pension schemes.

In Professor Rürup’s concluding statement on the state of pensions in Germany, he attached great importance to company pension schemes and pointed out that the possibility of deferred compensation is especially attractive for those on low incomes, as social insurance contributions can be reduced up to a certain premium. Professor Rürup also emphasised that the German state pension safety net is one of the best in the world.

Pension Day was a great success, and feedback from the participants extremely positive.

Pension fund awards
As further evidence of Swiss Life’s expertise in the pension arena, Swiss Life has once again received several top bAV awards, arranged by specialist magazine AssCompact.

Brokers voted the company one of the leading three providers in the German market at the bAV Forum in September 2009. Swiss Life took 2nd place for its “Pension fund”, “Direct compensation” and “Retirement fund” schemes, and 3rd place in the categories “Direct insurance” and “Overall assessment”.

Swiss Life was also confirmed as the only company that has without fail enjoyed top ranking in all areas of pension funds, and is considered by brokers to be one of the top providers.

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