On October 12, 2017, pinBox Solutions and the Global Human Development Program co-hosted the first global policy roundtable on digital microPension inclusion. This invitation-only roundtable was the first of a series of regional meetings aimed at jump-starting a global dialogue and collaborative action on digital pension inclusion and coverage expansion in developing countries. Senior policymakers and practitioners representing governments, central banks, pension regulators, insurers and pension funds, multilateral and bilateral aid agencies and think-tanks from over 30 countries met in Washington, D.C., at the Georgetown University campus to dive headfirst into these issues.
Each panel reviewed key learnings from past efforts in both financial and pension inclusion and discussed new ideas for expanding pension coverage to low income non-salaried informal sector workers. An important objective was to help develop scalable and sustainable models and replicable strategies for delivering an integrated pension, insurance and payment solution to unbanked, informal sector individuals across countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the island nations in the Caribbean and Pacific regions.
Global Human Development students were given exclusive access to attend and participate in this day-long event. One key takeaway GHD students noted was that demand-driven solutions must be made easily accessible and practical, for example, by encouraging irregular intervals for savings instead of monthly or yearly systems. Another panelist pointed out that the pay-out systems must be designed to keep economic shocks for the individual to facilitate easier withdrawals.
The Roundtable was also the platform for the global launch of the new book, Saving the Next Billion from Old Age Poverty: Global Lessons for Local Action. This book is co-edited by Parul Seth Khanna, William Price, and Gautam Bhardwaj and features insights from 42 authors representing some 20 countries that have collaborated with pinBox Solutions on the global initiative. The book focuses specifically on leveraging digital financial services infrastructure including ID and digital payments for pension inclusion and matching this with best practice in pension design to benefit the end-user.