Feeling off-balance

Pension buy-outs

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"Confusion is a typical reaction when someone first comes across the German pension system," says Andrew Hartsoe, senior consultant with HDI Pensionsmanagement, an offshoot of German insurance giant Talanx, and it is hard to disagree with this assessment. A combination of international accounting standards, German GAAP, five separate pension vehicles and highly detailed labour and tax laws has resulted in a jungle of options that need a clear head and a steady nerve to cut a path through (se