Millennials seem quite the unlucky generation when it comes to their finances. They entered the workforce right at the tail end of the financial crisis, which meant that many were forced to take on whatever jobs were available. As it stands, their disproportionately low salaries are often barely enough to cover their living expenses.
Because of this, retirement doesn’t seem to be an immediate concern for them. Most still have student loan balances to pay off, and many don’t even have high enough credit scores to buy their first homes. Some don’t even have stable full-time jobs and are instead relying on freelance work and the gig economy to get by.
Eventually, however, age gets to everyone. If they don’t start thinking about retirement, it may just be a bit too late. Life expectancy is getting longer so retiring by 65 means a person has to have enough money to live for 15 or so years more. Financial wisdom dictates that retirees should have around 10 times their yearly income saved by the time they call it quits.
This is why pension plans have been popular with older generations. Provided that the fund does its job, pensioners should be able to get ample returns for their contributions. Given their situation, however, pension contributions aren’t their priority. Even if they are somehow able to avail of pension plans, there’s a looming global pensions crisis to worry about. Funds from all over the world are facing insolvency. In just a few years’ time, many of these funds won’t be enough to pay out to the growing number of retirees.
Little is being done to solve this problem. Unless the government steps in to rescue them, many of these funds simply look resigned to fail. However, blockchain venture Akropolis has recently stepped in to solve the crisis.
Millennials in particular are poised to gain much from the effort, as it provides them the opportunity to set themselves up for a comfortable retirement.
Many pension programs have failed to consider the changing face of the workforce today. A survey showed that nearly half of the US workforce are already freelancing. The problem is that
freelancers often aren’t covered by traditional employer-driven pension plans. Freelancers could opt to avail of retirement and benefits plans on their own but that also means having to pay for those themselves. As such, many choose not to.
To solve this, Akropolis aims to function as a decentralized marketplace for pension products. Pension funds may participate on the platform in order to encourage new contributing members. The platform can link these funds with fund managers who can grow their assets and enhance their solvency in the long term.
Individual users will be able to set up their own accounts and shop around for pension products that suit their respective financial situations. The platform could provide users with transparent and immutable records of their contributions which they can audit at any time.
The loose boundaries of workplaces today also create concern.
Many workers are now part of geographically distributed teams. This becomes a problem concerning regulations governing mandated pensions. Determining which regulations apply to a particular individual can be tricky. This is why a blockchain-based pension platform helps participants navigate these through its compliance mechanisms.
The pension crisis isn’t something to overlook. Millennials would probably wonder what the point is of contributing a portion of their income to pensions if there are no assurances that they will get anything in return given the dismal state of funds today.
With traditional funds, members usually have little idea how funds are actually managed and how well they perform. There is even a growing number of cases of pension funds being pilfered by their administrators and managers. Members only get privy to such malfeasance when the news hits or when the fund has actually collapsed.
To prevent this, Akropolis leverages blockchain’s transparency. With blockchain, it would be possible to trace and flag malicious activities. Assets may also be tokenized in order for funds to provide transparency in their use of their capital. Using blockchain records, fund managers can also be held accountable for the state of their funds. In the future, the platform will implement a ranking system that measures the performance and reputation of fund managers to encourage them to operate in the best interest of their stakeholders.
Millennials aren’t getting any younger, and its high time that they consider planning for their retirement. Projects like Akropolis might just be what’s needed to restore the standing of pensions as a viable means of establishing secure financial futures for today’s workforce.
Akropolis can draw upon certain sentiments that appeal to younger workers. Millennials have already displayed the willingness to entrust their finances and perform other significant transactions digitally. Using a digital interface for their pensions should be quite the welcome experience for them. In addition, the confidence that a decentralized and transparent technology that blockchain inspires may also help win over the usually skeptical generation.
Aside from good custodianship, pensions need the participation of active members. With such mechanisms in place, Millennials may ultimately become encouraged to participate. A strong ecosystem of funds, members, and managers are what’s needed to ensure a stable future for everyone.