Micro-pension schemes in emerging markets and their relevance for innovation.Is micro pension the disruptive innovation that developed pension systems (eventually) could change?

  • Hanka van Waas Hanka van Waas
  • Jurjan Mol Jurjan Mol
  • Tom Naaijkens Tom Naaijkens

The Dutch pension system is considered as one of the best in the world. The call for changes in the system to maintain this prime position is broadly present. Some even call these necessary changes innovations. In this paper we argue that the Dutch pension system can – at best – come up with so-called incremental innovations. We show, using theories on innovation, that the Dutch pension sector is vulnerable for radical or disruptive innovative initiatives. From pension cases in emerging countries we signal changes in the pension proposition that bear characteristics to become disruptive. Maybe not in the current shape or form, but it appears that the seeds have been sown. Research on innovation has shown that once the disruptive innovative product or service gains traction it is extremely difficult for the incumbents to adjust their business model and product offering. We suggest that – although the future value chain is not clear yet – the participants in the Dutch pension system should signal and focus on potential disruptive characteristics rather than putting effort in the next incremental step.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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