Pension

Occupational Pensions: Federal Labour Court strengthens employee’s claim to disability benefits

By judgment of 13 July 2021 (docket number: 3 AZR 445/20) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that a claim to an (occupational) disability pension exists even if the pension plan presupposes a “permanent disability in the sense of social security law”, but the statutory invalidity pension pursuant to social security law …

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Occupational Pensions: Federal Labour Court raises question of works council’s right of co-determination in CTAs

In a ruling of 20 September 2020 (docket number: 3 AZR 303/18), the Federal Labour Court confirmed that a so-called CTA (Contractual Trust Arrangement) – which is a special trust structure for occupational pensions – is a suitable vehicle for protecting pension commitments against insolvency. In addition, however, the Federal Labour Court has raised another …

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Occupational Pensions: Launch of first so-called social partner model

Recently, the first so-called social partner model (“Sozialpartnermodell”) was presented in Germany. The model was initiated by a cooperation of two large insurance companies and was realised with the involvement of a large German trade union. Social partner models have their origins in a major reform of occupational pension law in 2018. They enable – …

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Occupational Pensions: Pension benefits from Switzerland are subject to social security contributions in Germany

By judgment of 23 February 2021 (docket number: B 12 KR 32/19 R) the Federal Social Court (Bundessozialgericht) has ruled that benefits from a Swiss pension fund are subject to contributions in the German statutory health insurance and social care insurance if they are comparable to either a German state pension or a German occupational …

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Occupational Pensions: Federal Labour Court confirms its established ruling on limited liability in case of acquiring a company out of insolvency

By judgment of 26 January 2021 (docket number: 3 AZR 878/16, 3 AZR 878/17) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that the acquirer of an insolvent company is only liable for vested entitlements and claims to occupational pension that had been earned after the opening of insolvency proceedings. He is not liable …

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Occupational Pensions: Increase in pension accruals does not justify a reduction in pension benefits

By judgment of 8 December 2020 (docket number: 3 AZR 64/19) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that an increase in pension accruals (as a result of statutory changes in accounting law) does not justify a benefit-reducing adjustment of the pension commitment. Facts: The plaintiff (widow of a former employee) received a …

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Occupational Pensions: Principle of equal treatment does not apply to pension commitments for managing directors

By judgment of 25 November 2020 (docket number: 7 U 1297/20) the Munich Higher Regional Court [Oberlandesgericht München] has ruled that a managing director of a limited liability company [GmbH] cannot invoke the principle of equal treatment under labour law [arbeitsrechtlicher Gleichbehandlungsgrundsatz] if other managing directors have received a better pension commitment. The principle of …

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Occupational Pensions: Continuing liability for pension obligations after spin-off

By judgment of 22 September 2020 (docket number: 3 AZR 304/18) the German Federal Labor Court [Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG] has ruled that the subsequent liability of a company involved in a spin-off according to the German Transformation Act [Abspaltung gemäß Umwandlungsgesetz]) with regard to pension liabilities also applies towards the German Statutory Insolvency Protection Fund …

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Occupational Pensions: European Court of Justice strengthens claims of pensioners in case of insolvency

By judgment of 9 September 2020 (docket number: ECLI:EU:C:2020:682; Joined Cases C-674/18 and C-675/18) the European Court of Justice has ruled that the settled case law of the German Federal Labour Court on the limited liability of the acquirer for pension entitlements in the event of insolvency does not apply without restriction. It is only …

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Occupational Pensions: Exclusion of survivor’s pension in case of marriage after early retirement

By judgment of 3 June 2020 (docket number: 3 AZR 226/19) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that the exclusion of a survivor’s pension is justified if the pension plan provides for full pension benefits in the event of early retirement on reaching the age of 50 and if the marriage was …

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Occupational Pensions: New law introduces insolvency protection for pension benefits granted via pension insurance funds (“Pensionskasse”)

According to a new law (“Siebtes Gesetz zur Änderung des Vierten Buches Sozialgesetzbuch und anderer Gesetze“, BGBl. 2020 I S. 1248 [1271]) pension benefits granted through a so-called pension insurance fund (“Pensionskasse”) will in future be protected against the insolvency of the employer. German occupational pension law stipulates that pension commitments can be granted not …

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Occupational Pensions: No liability of the employer for a reduction of benefits by an external pension carrier before the pension benefits fall due

By judgment of 12 May 2020 (docket number: 3 AZR 157/19) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that the employer’s liability for pension benefits based on pension commitments under the involvement of an external pension carrier pursuant to Section 1 Paragraph 1 Sentence 3 of the German Company Pensions Act (BetrAVG) only …

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Occupational Pensions: Partial retirement is to be treated as part-time work

By judgment of 21 January 2020 (docket number: 3 AZR 281/18) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that for the calculation of pension benefits partial retirement (Altersteilzeit) is to be treated as part-time work (Teilzeitarbeit). The employer and the former employee were in dispute over the question of whether periods of partial …

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Occupational Pensions: Employer’s obligation to carry out pension adjustments according to occupational pension law does not apply to non-occupational pension benefits

By judgment of 19 November 2019 (docket number: 3 AZR 281/18) the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that, in the event that an employer has granted a total pension (Gesamtversorgung) which consists of both occupational pensions and other types of pension benefits, the employer’s obligation to carry out pension adjustments according to …

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Occupational Pensions: European Court of Justice confirms protection of employees in the event of employer insolvency

By judgment of 19 December 2019 (docket number: C-168/18) the European Court of Justice has ruled that employee’s pension entitlements which are based on so-called captive pension insurance schemes (Pensionskassenzusagen) are (to a certain extent) protected from benefit reductions in the event of employer insolvency. The plaintiff participated in a captive pension insurance scheme (Pensionskasse). …

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