The current statistics on pension funds record the assets and liabilities of pension funds in Germany on a quarterly basis, where these funds are to be classified under sector S.129 according to the definition given by the European System of Accounts (ESA).
These are secondary statistics based on the supervisory data of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and voluntary reports from other pension funds, and are supplemented by results from other Bundesbank statistics such as banking statistics and securities holdings statistics.
From the third quarter of 2019 onwards, the existing statistics will be replaced by a new harmonised framework for the whole euro area. The appropriate regulation ECB/2018/2 on statistical reporting requirements for pension funds was published on 26 January 2018 (see link below). The pension funds covered by the new requirements will continue to be determined by the ESA definition of sector S.129. This sector includes Pensionskassen, Pensionsfonds, occupational pension schemes for the self-employed, the supplementary pension scheme of central and state government (Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder, or VBL) as well as church and municipal supplementary pension funds.
The heterogeneity of the sector means there will be various reporting populations and reporting formats.
Pensionskassen and Pensionsfonds are subject to supervision by BaFin. Reduced supervisory reporting requirements generally also apply to the ESCB statistics on pension funds provided that they are compatible with the statistical reporting requirements set out in Regulation ECB/2018/2. These funds submit their reports in XBRL format (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) to BaFin, which forwards them directly to the Bundesbank. The rules published by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) apply. Although a large part of the information required pursuant to Regulation ECB/2018/2 is covered by the supervisory reports, some additional data are still needed. The ECB and EIOPA have therefore worked together closely to draw up reporting forms, which, in addition to the supervisory data, also contain the information required for the pension statistics. The ECB add-ons have been integrated into EIOPA's technical framework, which is based on the data point model (DPM) – a structured representation of the data – and the XBRL.
For all pension funds not required to report to BaFin, the Bundesbank determines the reporting population and scope. The Bundesbank itself defines reporting forms and technical formats for these pension funds. The technical reporting format is XML-based and is transmitted directly from the institutions to the Bundesbank. Reports from pension funds that are only required to report selected figures on an annual basis owing to materiality thresholds are also to be sent in XML format.
Regulation ECB/2018/2 details derogations for the smallest pension funds in terms of total assets. They must report at least 85% of the total assets of pension funds resident in the relevant euro area Member State to the respective central bank. Above this threshold, pension funds are subject to reduced reporting requirements. Funds granted a derogation must comply with their statistical reporting requirements only once a year.
- Those pension funds that – as measured by total assets – account for between 85% and 95% of total assets shall submit a detailed list of assets (and possibly liabilities). The mandatory submission of the liabilities still needs to be clarified.
- The smallest 5% of pension funds report data on their total assets on an annual basis, broken down into debt securities, equity, investment fund shares/units and other accounts receivable.
To determine whether reduced reporting requirements apply, the Bundesbank will check the total assets stated in the annual report and subsequently inform funds of any changes to the scope of reporting requirements. The objective is to avoid frequent changes to individual reporting institutions’ reporting scope over time.
Questions may be submitted at any time using the contact form on the right.