The increase in fund assets can be attributed to the payments of the increasing number of plan participants (as was the case in previous years). Because the majority of participants in the 2001 pension plan are still active, i.e., still paying into their retirement plans, this increase will remain steady over the next few years.
Investments in the capital market made by Deutsche Telekom for company pension schemes and similar obligations in Germany are based on our sustainability principles. These principles were integrated into our socially responsible investment strategy for Deutsche Telekom pension providers, which we introduced in 2013, in the form of exclusion criteria. They prohibit investments in companies that produce NBC weapons, anti-personnel mines or cluster bombs or that trade in these or have repeatedly violated the UN Global Compact principles. Deutsche Telekom pension funds are also prohibited from purchasing government securities from governments that are subject to sanctions in accordance with public international law. Our pension providers agreed to our socially responsible investment strategy in 2013. This strategy was reviewed in 2017 and now incorporates Best-in-Class strategies and engagement approaches.
We are convinced that putting this strategy into practice will help improve our financial risk indicators. This strategy will also promote perception of Telekom as a socially responsible company. It will help us avoid high-risk, controversial investments and, instead, invest in long-term, stable values that are in line with our principles of sustainability.