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How do I find the optimal pension solution for my company?

All companies inevitably change and go through different phases of development. A company's processes must also evolve to reflect its corporate development and this includes selecting the optimal pension solution. What is right for a start-up may not work so well for a bigger and successful company. Moreover, once you have selected the right model you still need to find the right insurance partner. Our checklist can help you optimise your choice.


Someone founding a company doesn't have time to deal with pension-related issues either for him/herself or the employees. When starting a company you just want to get it up and running, gain your first clients and make a profit. During this phase occupational pension provision should involve a minimum of effort, combined with good value for money and security. Full insurance is usually the best solution in these circumstances as it is calculable and secure. This is because the investment, death, disability and longevity risks are all fully covered by the collective institution or the insurer. The risk of a shortfall is excluded from the outset as the pension assets are always fully secured. This also excludes the risk of additional expenses in the form of restructuring contributions.


During the growth phase the priority is to build up your client base and establish viable processes and procedures. At this stage it's important to retain your employees and recruit the best available talent. This is where occupational pension provision can work strongly in your favour: An employer offering an attractive pension solution has a perceptible competitive advantage. This is when it can be good to develop your pension arrangements to benefit your employees. At the same time the pension plan can be adapted to reflect the company's potentially higher capacity to bear and accept risk. In this case you need a semi-autonomous foundation, which allows you to take more risk with your investments and potentially increase your return through doing so. The risks of death and disability remain fully covered under a semi-autonomous solution.


During the consolidation phase, most companies want to increase profitability and optimise costs. This is when it becomes extremely important to retain key employees over the long term, perhaps even with an eye to planning your succession. Your occupational pension provision can also help in this phase as you can increase and customise managers' benefits. This solution also offers some attractive tax breaks.

Checklist: How to find the best pension provision partner

Advisory competence

If you have any questions it's important to be able to talk to a competent contact person who is readily available; ideally you would always be advised by the same person.


If the insurer behind the collective foundation is not entirely dependable, the retirement assets could be jeopardised. A secure pension partner has substantial reserves.

Investment competence

Look at the return on investment over several years. It should have improved consistently and normally be higher than the benchmark index.

Overall interest

The overall interest on the mandatory and supplementary assets should be above the average when comparing the offers.

Cover ratio

If you select a semi-autonomous solution, you should check the cover ratio. If it's under 100% you may need to pay restructuring contributions.

Performance and service

Complex situations or differing opinions can lead to conflict. In this case you need an accommodating and competent pension partner to rely on. Inquire among other companies and get references.

Administrative burden

The administration required from you to meet your BVG obligations should be kept to a minimum. Therefore you should be able to communicate with your pension provision partner through the most convenient channels. This also includes a fully-fledged online offer available to you 24/7.

Product offering

Your partner should have products to meet all types of requirements and, if necessary, even be able to offer customised solutions at a reasonable price.