12 May 2021
E.ON establishes pension fund and takes over innogy pensioner portfolio / Willis Towers Watson pension fund offers a planned interim solution as a deal enabler.
As a new major player in the German pension fund market, E.ON Pensionsfonds will take over innogy pensioners from the Willis Towers Watson pension fund after the ongoing BaFin approval process has been completed.
With this initial portfolio of around 10,000 company pensioners and around 2.5 billion euros in security assets, which were transferred from the RWE pension fund to the Willis Towers Watson pension fund in 2019, the E.ON pension fund will join the ranks of the largest German company pension funds.
“True to the motto ‘after the project is before the project’, parallel to the closing of the innogy transaction, we initiated the establishment of the E.ON pension fund in order to finally be able to take on the innogy pensioner portfolio here,” reports Stefan Brenk , Head of Pension Finance & Asset Strategy at E.ON and CEO of E.ON Pensionsfonds. E.ON uses the broad pension fund expertise of Willis Towers Watson both for the implementation and for the ongoing operation of the pension fund.
“We are pleased that we were able to contribute to the success of the transaction with both the inclusion of innogy pensioners in the Willis Towers Watson pension fund and the long-term transfer to the E.ON pension fund. We can also closely accompany the E.ON pension fund on its way, ”said Heinke Conrads, Head of Retirement Germany and Austria at Willis Towers Watson. Willis Towers Watson will provide two proven pension fund experts as external board member (Dr. Johannes Heiniz) and responsible actuary (Tim Voetmann) for the E.ON pension fund.
A close interlinking of the corporate transaction and portfolio transfer in accordance with Section 13 of the VAG enabled the transaction to be closed (almost) exactly to the day, also with regard to the existing innogy pensioner obligations. “The concurrent approval of the antitrust authorities and approval by BaFin made this portfolio transfer the most complex in the German pension fund market to date,” said Dr. Michael Karst, Head of Legal / Tax / Accounting and Financing Vehicle Retirement at Willis Towers Watson Germany. The direct connection of the previous administrative structures to the Willis Towers Watson Pension Fund made it possible to ensure maximum continuity with regard to the operational administrative processes, despite the considerable size of the portfolio.
“The E.ON pension fund enables the further consolidation and centralization of company pension schemes in the E.ON Group – in the sense of replacing other financing vehicles as well as against the background of modern pension plan designs. The same applies to the capital investment governance behind the financing vehicles and the capital investment management itself. This is what makes the E.ON pension fund so important to us, ”reports Stefan Brenk from E.ON.Source: WTW
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