Pensions

Group leader Tobias Neufeld, LL.M.

Occupational pension schemes (IORPs) are a long-term and complex element of remuneration that should be a particular focus for companies for a number of reasons.

LIABILITIES AND EFFECTS

SEIZE OPPORTUNITIES, MINIMIZE RISKS

Company pension schemes are a long-term and complex salary component that merit special attention for many reasons.

Firstly, pension liabilities can put a burden on both the balance sheet and the company. Even external provident and pension funds are not always fully funded, and direct insurance schemes can be exposed to financial risks. If the worst comes to the worst, the employer has contingent liability. Pension liabilities also raise special questions in restructuring projects and corporate transactions, in enterprise valuations and when borrowing outside capital.

At the same time, employers face the challenge of making their company pension schemes attractive to existing and future employees, and of digitising them. You have to exploit the opportunities and minimise the risks, especially those associated with the funding of liabilities.

 

ARQIS PENSION EXPERTS

MARKET-LEADING EXPERTISE IN COMPANY PENSION SCHEME

The ARQIS Pensions Group provides employers, pension funds and pension consultants with advisory services based on more than 30 years of leading-edge expertise in company pensions. Our specialists cover all the pension-related areas of law (employment law, tax law, social insurance law, accounting law, insurance [supervision] law etc.) and they also operate in interdisciplinary and cross-sector networks. Some of our legal experts have decades of experience at major German occupational pension consultancy firms.

The ARQIS Pensions experts advise clients on the structuring, reorganisation and de-risking of pension systems, and on the outsourcing or transfer of pension liabilities – also in M&A transactions and intra-group restructuring projects.

The ARQIS pensions experts have many years of experience in the legal defence of unlawful company pension claims, e.g. for pension increases, pension commitments, benefit increases or contingent liability, as well as negotiations with works councils and trade unions.

THE CONSULTING SPECTRUM OF THE ARQIS PENSIONS GROUP

Bearing in mind that an integrated, interdisciplinary approach is essential to the success of any company pension project, the ARQIS pensions experts collaborate with well-known actuaries, investors, pension managers and pensioner companies. Working hand-in-hand like this demands creativity, but it also guarantees a strategic approach and efficient project implementation. At the same time, it ensures that all relevant aspects are taken into account in order to achieve the optimum outcome for the client.

1. PENSION DESIGN

 

  • Pension provisions in employment and service contracts
  • Pension schemes in works agreements and collective wage agreements (including pure defined contribution commitments in accordance with the Act to Strengthen Company Pensions – BRSG)
  • Funding via CTA
  • Reinsurance and pledging
  • Company pensions for directors and officers

2. PENSION ADVISORY

 

  • Modification and adaptation of pension systems to the continuously changing legal framework
  • Negotiation, drafting and amendment of works agreements/collective wage agreements
  • Company pensions and redundancy packages
  • Pension adaptation, portability and change of employer (particularly within the group)
  • Basic/refresher training for personnel working with company pensions, especially HR personnel
  • Company pensions in liquidation/crisis/insolvency scenarios (German Pension Protection Fund -PSVaG)

3. PENSION LITIGATION

 

  • Evaluation and defence of company pension actions brought by employees, benefit recipients and external pension vehicles at all courts and at all stages of the litigation process

  • Legal enforcement of claims for special and additional payments from pension schemes and pension funds vis-a-vis the insurance companies.

  • Arbitration proceedings on company pension-related issues

4. PENSION TRANSACTION SERVICE

 

  • Company pensions in M&A transactions, conversions and business transfers pursuant to section 613a of the German Civil Code (BGB)

  • Handling of company pension schemes in cases of exit from the corporation/group and thus from the group vehicles

  • Pension settlements, transfer of the company pensions of directors and officers in connection with transactions

  • Post-merger integration and consolidation of pension systems


Learn more about HR Transactions.

5. PENSION RESTRUCTURING, OUTSOURCING, DE-RISKING & BUY-OUT

 

  • Dissolution and reorganisation of pension systems
  • Exit from the company pension scheme, closure & freezing of pension funds
  • De-risking of pension systems, particularly in view of the sustained low-interest environment and demographic development
  • Pension settlements and transfer of pension liabilities
  • Funding, outsourcing of pension liabilities (in particular outsourcing to provident fund/pension fund)
  • Subsidiary liability (employer’s obligation to assume liability) in case of external implementation
  • Outsourcing in Contractual Trust Arrangements (CTA)
  • Discharge of pension liabilities through spin-off to pension companies
Pensions Issues in Cross-Border Acquisitions (Germany)
and Employees: Private Acquisitions (Germany)

Practical Law – Practice Note

Tobias Neufeld provides an overview of German pension and labour law issues when acquiring a private company or business in Germany. Read now:

Pensions Issues in Cross-Border Acquisitions (Germany)

Employees: Private Acquisitions (Germany)

Reproduced from Practical Law with the permission of the publishers.
For further information, visit www.practicallaw.com or call +44 (0)20 7542 6664.

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

If you have any questions about the Pensions Group please feel free to mail us.