1923: the first pension scheme in Bavaria
The first pension schemes were founded when after World war I and the following inflation all reserves, deposits and fortunes melted like the snow in the sun and many pensioners and widows had literally nothing anymore after 1923. At that time it was the medical association in Bavaria which created out of this need the idea of a selfgoverned institution run by solidarity and without any governmental help. An idea that was based on two thoughts: first of all help for singular persons in need, but second the responsibility for all members of the medical associations in general. The oldest pension scheme for liberal professions, so to say the archetype of pension schemes of the liberal professions, the Bavarian pension scheme for physicians, has overcome dictatorship, war and destruction of war; it transfered 1948 during the currency reform pension rights founded in "Reichsmark" by 1 Reichsmark to 0,80 DM an in 1950 by 1 Reichsmark to 1 DM without any governmental support just out of its own strength.
Often there is raised the question whether and how the compulsory membership fit into the concept of liberal professions. To this question the Federal Constitutional Court of Justice has in some decisions pointed out that a general and common provision with compulsory membership for the liberal professions is compatible with the idea of liberal professions and does also fit into the contemporary social policy within the society. First principle and priority of the pension schemes is the strict self-government by the professionals themselves and the total self-financing exclusivley by the contributions of the members without any governmental support or garanty.
The major part of the professional pension schemes of the liberal professions was founded after World War II, meanwhile therefore existing some 40 odd years. Probably it will also interest you how the professional pension schemes of the liberal professions reacted on the german reunification. The Federal Government has, starting with the "Staatsvertrag" (State Treaty) of may 1990 and the "Einigungsvertrag" (Treaty of Unification) of august 1990, always insisted on transfering the well-function structured system of retirement schemes of West-Germany to the new Federal States of the former GDR. Therefore also the liberal professions there had the chance to create their own self-governed pension schemes as their collegues in the west. The liberal professions took this chance, pension schemes now exist in the new Federal States for almost all liberal professions.