It’s BeFrank’s birthday. The first Premium Pension Institution (PPI) in the Netherlands has been in existence for five years and now has over 400 customers with around 70,000 members. That means that BeFrank continues to be the undisputed market leader, despite the emergence of many new rivals over the past years.
A straightforward pension, clear communications, online service provision and low costs. The goals that BeFrank dared to declare out loud when it started in 2011 continue to apply in full five years later. ‘Innovations in the pension system are urgently required,’ says Marianne de Boer, director of BeFrank. ‘We are continually surveying pension awareness in the Netherlands and it is sadly still very low, particularly among young people. They often have no idea how much they will need later every month to get by.’
Delta Lloyd and BinckBank joined forces in 2011. Their goal? To innovate the pension market by deploying smart online tools and communicating in a way that people understand. DNB/AFM (the Dutch Central Bank / the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets) granted the required licence on 24 June of that year and so BeFrank, the first Premium Pension Institution in the Netherlands, was born. Never before had there been a party focusing only on building up pension capital and the administration of pension schemes, with ultimate transparency as its goal.
When BeFrank started out five years ago, many people in the pension sector were still sceptical about defined contribution (DC) schemes, under which employers pay a contribution defined in advance. ‘But nowadays increasing numbers of companies are switching to this type of scheme and the debate on a new pension system is in full swing. The DC scheme is the first step on the way to a new pension system,’ comments De Boer. And 90 percent of all employers who arrange a DC scheme do so with a PPI.
Innovation as second nature
The drive towards innovation has never slowed at BeFrank in its first five years. With the help of smart online services, the company aims to make pensions transparent and understandable for everyone. The first complete pension app in the Netherlands, which BeFrank launched in 2012, is a good example. It allows users to see how much pension they have built up until that date whenever they want to and wherever they may be. ‘Another example is our pension planner. It enables you to influence the amount of your pension yourself, for instance by paying in additional contributions. You can also tailor your investments to your expected retirement age, we call this Age Styling,’ says De Boer.
A fit pension
BeFrank will continue to drive forward innovations in the pension sector in the years ahead. ‘We are increasingly moving towards an individual system in which people make their own arrangements for their retirement income. Smart solutions and a keen pension awareness are part of this. We will continue to facilitate this,’ commented De Boer. Sharing knowledge is part of that strategy. BeFrank is therefore organising a pension event for employers and pension advisers on Tuesday 11 October. One of the topics will be how to ensure you remain physically and mentally fit to enjoy your retirement income and how employers can contribute to this.
BeFrank has been active in the group pensions market since 2011 and was the first Premium Pension Institution (PPI) in the Netherlands. BeFrank offers a straightforward pension, clear communications, online service provision and low costs. It is part of the Delta Lloyd Group.
More information: Isabelle van Ast. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 020 5621118.