Finance

New knowledge and action is needed in the pension sector

July 24, 2014

Recent changes have made one thing perfectly clear: there is a huge need for innovation. Which is why TIAS School for Business and Society and Netspar have developed the Masterclass cycle Pension innovation. Using the Netspar studies as input, the participants in the master classes are closely involved, says professor Alfred Slager. “Here, you truly are the first to learn about new knowledge.”

The new Pension Fund Governance Act, changes in the Financial Assessment Framework and the changing role of consumers. These are only a few examples of developments that require new knowledge. New knowledge and action, says Slager. “It is important to actively develop strategies that are future-proof and that link up with the changing labor market.” These are precisely the themes and the skills that are examined during the Masterclass cycle Pension innovation, a development course of 4 master classes.

Seen from two sides

Much attention is focused during the master classes on the changing role of the pension participant as a consumer. After all, he/she is being offered more and more individual options. Following a knowledge-update on the pension system on the first day of the master classes, the second day includes a session in which the focus is on the participant. Slager: “Looking at this from two sides, there is a nice contrast and it is clear which changes the sector now has to face and which opportunities result.”

Independent study

The most recent developments are discussed, but we are also looking to the future. “We are already considering what the policy will be like in a few years from now”, says Slager. According to the professor, this is mainly possible thanks to the ample and in-depth research that Netspar conducts. As an example, he mentions the very usable NEA-papers, to which various researchers lent their co-operation. A good match with the educational programs of TIAS. “What makes it fun is that most of the teachers can talk about their own research. They are very committed. The studies are yet to be completed in some cases, but the participants can benefit from the knowledge in their own practice via the master classes. Here, you truly are the first to learn about new knowledge.”

Various perspectives

Professionals from various corners of the pension sector participate in the master classes. Ranging from administrators of investment management companies and pension funds to those of insurers, policy-makers and regulatory authorities. Slager: “We bring different blood groups together, so that the participants approach the subject matter from various perspectives. By allowing them to work together, they come to interesting new insights.” In this respect, Slager emphasizes the active work methods in which the subject matter is examined. Much use is made of interaction, break out-sessions and discussions. “Our teachers enjoy touching on the tension between research and actual practice, which links the interests of the participants and ensures that everyone goes home with new insights.”

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