Choosing the right pension solution is very important for a company, not only because of the associated costs but also as a tool for finding and retaining the best employees. This includes a regular review of the chosen solution as well.

Every company changes and goes through various development phases over time. All its processes must be adapted in line with these changes. This includes finding the optimal pension fund solution at each stage. After all, what may be right for a start-up may no longer be sufficient for a larger, established company. And once the model has been defined the best insurance partner needs to be found. Our checklist will help you make the right decision.

Foundation and build-up

During the start-up phase, a new entrepreneur has little time to think about insurance questions for himself and his employees. Instead, he must focus on building up the company, finding the first customers and achieving profitability. During this phase, occupational pensions should consume as little time as possible while being both cost-effective and secure. Full insurance is usually the right choice in such situations – it is both predictable and secure. This is because the investment risk as well as the risks of death, disability and longevity are fully covered by the collective foundation and the insurer behind it. Right from the start, a shortfall is not possible, as the pension assets are always fully insured. Nor will there be any additional expenditures in the form of restructuring contributions.

Establishment and growth

The growth phase is focused on increasing the customer base and establishing sustainable processes and procedures. During this phase, it is important to attract the best people to the company and retain them. Occupational pensions are an important element in this effort. Employers who offer their employees an attractive pension plan have a considerable advantage over their competitors, so it’s worth expanding employee benefits. At the same time, the pension plan can be adapted if the company has a slightly higher risk tolerance and capacity. A semi-autonomous foundation is suited for this purpose, as it makes it possible to take somewhat higher investment risks and thus improve the opportunities for returns. And the risks of death and disability remain fully covered.


During the consolidation phase, most companies are looking to improve profitability and optimise costs. It is now essential to retain key employees, perhaps with a view to including them in the company’s succession planning. Occupational pensions can play a role here as well: benefits can be increased and individually structured for managers. And this can result in attractive tax optimisation options too.

Advisory expertise
When questions pop up, it’s important to have an expert partner you can turn to, ideally the same one for every situation.

If the insurance company behind the collective foundation is shaky, the pension assets may be jeopardised. A secure pension partner has substantial provisions available.

Investment expertise
Look at the investment returns over the course of several years. They should grow on a continuous basis and generally be above the benchmark index.

Total interest return
In a comparison of offerings, the overall interest on mandatory and supplementary assets should be above-average.

Cover ratio
If you opt for a semi-autonomous solution, you’ll need to review the cover ratio. If this ratio is less than 100%, you may need to pay restructuring contributions.

Execution and service
Complex situations or differing views can lead to conflicts. Therefore, it is important to have a fair and expert pension partner at your side. Check with companies with which you are on good terms and get references.

Administrative effort
The amount of time needed to take care of BVG administrative duties should be as low as possible, so your pension partner needs to have the simplest communication channels. This includes a robust online offering that provides access around the clock.

Product offering
You pension partner should offer products for a very wide variety of needs and, if necessary, be able to provide individually adapted proposals as well. And, of course, it should do all of this at a cost-effective price.

Make an appointment for a consultation

The solution that is right for your company is very individual and depends on a range of factors. Our insurance advisors are happy to help you find the right solution for your company.

Additional articles of interest


Full insurance or a semi-autonomous pension fund?

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