Financial services – Pensions

Pension providers must embrace digital transformation to meet needs in a market that is leaving traditional operating models behind.

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An outdated model

Built on welfare economics and ongoing growth, pension models in Europe had the ambition to provide sustainable defined and guaranteed retirement income for individuals for the last half-century. Clearly defined benefits and guaranteed pension schemes for employees with social pensions ensured a healthy replacement retirement income. This even extended to guaranteeing protection against disability, survivorship, unemployment, and early retirement.

The Need For Something New

The last decades of the 20th century saw the emergence of three key macro trends to disrupt the traditional pension model: A sharp increase in longevity (people living for longer), lower interest rates (lower for longer), and tilting old age dependency ratios. These factors exposed vulnerabilities within the pension system, resulting in a slew of reforms. Different countries are in different stages of these reforms.   

“Individualization of pensions’ is emerging as a long-term reform trend across Europe. In the long term, the responsibility of ensuring adequate and sustainable retirement income shifts from state to individuals.”

A Shift To Individualization

Individualization of pensions’ is emerging as a long-term reform trend across Europe. Through different levers in the long term, the responsibility of ensuring adequate and sustainable retirement income shifts from state to individuals. 
With that in mind, making individuals cognizant of this future reality will be by far the biggest challenge pension stakeholders (governments, pension providers, and employers) need to meet. Activating individuals essentially involves nudging them from reactive transactional interaction to proactive advice-seeking engagement.

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Paul de Leer

Industry | Financial Services,

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Thies Schäfer

Industry | Financial Services,

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