Dozens of developing countries around the world lack a social security net for the people that work in the informal economy (self-employed people), which often comprises around 70%-80% of those economies. It is expected that in 2050 more than 2 billion people will be older than 60.
These people have a higher life expectancy. Life will become more expensive because of health costs, while the joint family support systems are breaking up. Pension products for these groups are very limited, resulting in many people falling back into poverty after their working life.
“Pensions are critical to reducing extreme poverty and the benefits of pensions reach beyond the individual recipient into the family, helping children and grandchildren” (UN’s Independent Expert on human rights and extreme poverty, Magdalena Sepúlveda).
New pension laws and pension industries are arising around the world as governments of developing countries create social structures and see the need for pension provisions. However, when governments put new structures in place, new pension companies in the market start focusing on the formal economy, a target group with a fixed income. Thereby the majority of people, the informal workers, are excluded.
The mission of PPH is to make pension saving products available and affordable to people living and working in the informal economy. To do so PPH sets up and guides Greenfield pension companies towards the successful realization of informal workers pension funds.
The ambition is to become the global market leader for pension services targeting the informal economy.
MicroPensions; pension products for the informal sector
Micro Pensions are financial products for old age income security targeted at people in the informal sector in developing countries. Micro Pension is a powerful solution to eradicate old age poverty. It gives people the possibility to build a better, independent financial future. By saving during their working life. People save small amounts of money individually that will be invested collectively to grow benefits. When people retire their accumulated capital will be paid out in monthly amounts. These benefits are dependent on investment returns.
Micro pensions are aimed at low-income people that have varying, unstable income, are often financially illiterate and have limited access to financial services. Thus compared to traditional pension products for the formal economy micro pensions have specific characteristics in design, distribution and associated costs. Examples of these characteristics are: flexibility, low costs, anti fraud, financial literacy and mobile connectivity (information and payments).
Success factors are trust, efficiency and volume
Micro pension initiatives struggle with the experience needed for setting up a sustainable pension scheme. The critical issues to address in companies providing pensions for the informal economy are building up trust with people in the country, efficient processing of small savings, and growing a big active customer base.
Saving for such a long term will be a new experience for this target group. The micro pensions company therefor has to earn a lot of trust to be confided with these savings.
As the saving amounts are small, low costs are essential. Costs per pension participant have to be brought down to a few dollars per year. And finally, to make the micro pensions company commercially viable the customer base has to be large. Marketing and financial education are therefor needed to create awareness and stimulates action. After initial registration stimulating the members to make continuous and regular deposits is key to success. The solutions of Peoples Pension Holding are developed around these challenges.
Innovation in pension solutions
Setting up pension companies for the currently underserved pension markets (1,8 billion people) in large informal economies demand innovative pension solutions. PPH provides her pension companies with IT solutions that consist of an end-to-end mobile solution and fully automated back-end processes and tooling.
Moreover, learnings around the financial education strategy and stimulating saving behavior will be shared. Herewith an innovative pension customer journey has been created with special focus on authentication, financial education, straight through processing and anti-fraud.