On February 8th, APG & PGGM hosted the ‘Future of Pensions Blockchain Conference’ at Pakhuis West in Amsterdam. APG and PGGM decided back in 2015 to work together on several blockchain-based experiments to explore if they could improve the pension administration and industry as a whole. On this specific day, for the first time in public, they showed the results achieved.
Theo van Kessel (Director Business Improvement & Change at APG] & Peter Bannink (Manager Outsourcing & Innovation at PGGM) opened with a Q&A discussing the challenges faced in pensions and the challenges that face APG/PGGM today and in the future. The two well-known names in the industry set the tone for the day: “change and innovation is needed to stay ahead of the game.” Thereby the opening was a perfect introduction to what was next: four demos of the prototypes that are built so far. Two international speakers were invited to talk about decentralised asset management and how to solve issues around exchanging/curating data. TNO was next up discussing the opportunities and challenges when it comes to smart (pension) contracts.
The day ended with a fantastic panel moderated by Hidde Terpoorten (Blockchain Lead at APG) discussing the future of blockchain in pensions, with Sandra van Heukelom (Lawyer and Partner at Pels Rijcken), Marjolijn Pouw (Innovation Manager at PGGM), Rutger van Zuidam (Founder at Dutchchain & Blockchaingers), and Fieke van der Lecq (Professor of Pension Markets at VU). The panel concluded that we shouldn’t stop at challenges, but rather explore the opportunities of this new technology and don’t be afraid of making a wrong step once in a while. This was also reflected in the forecasts for how long it will take for the first blockchain application to ‘go live’ in the pension industry, where 3 years was the furthest away guess. Thus, the panel ended the first edition of the conference with a clear message to the audience:
‘There’s a lot to figure out still, but lets explore the future of pensions together!’
APG & PGGM look back at a very successful day in which they could show their progress and connect with the blockchain ecosystem.