The occupational pension system in Germany has its origins in the 19th century, when industrial companies like Krupp, Siemens, BASF and Hoechst implemented the first pension schemes for their employees to protect them against the financial effects of disability or death. These early forms of pension benefits were introduced prior to the acclaimed German statutory pension system, which came into effect in 1889 under Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. While occupational pension plans were initially voluntary services offered by a small group of entrepreneurs with a distinguished sense of paternalistic responsibility towards their employees, nowadays 51% of all German companies and 97% of all large corporations offer some form of occupational pension scheme. With 12.3m pension members, 15.1% of Germany’s total population is currently covered by an occupational pension plan.
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