The European Commission is pursuing an infringement action against Germany with regard to the practice of local and municipal authorities awarding contracts for group pension services without going out to tender under the public procurement rules. Under a collective agreement concluded in 2003 by an association of German local and municipal authorities and the trade union, the pension services are reserved to three particular groups of service providers. Insurance companies offering similar services consider that this agreement unfairly prevents them from offering alternative pension services. Germany does not consider the agreements to be covered by the procurement rules and the matter will now have to be resolved before the Court.