The idea they came up with was a ‘Maslow insurance’ for your old age. We interviewed project manager Frank Brinkkemper about the origin of this idea and what role Blockchain plays in this.

Can you explain what Maslow insurance is exactly?

‘’Maslow insurance ensures the basic needs that you want to meet at retirement age instead of a fixed income. For example, this can be the basic need for food, but also a roof over your head or the latest gadgets (because who knows, the smartphone might no longer exist in 40 years time!). You would like to ensure your basic needs will still be provided for 40 years from now.

Imagine you enjoy eating a boiled egg for breakfast and you would like to make sure this will be possible 40 years from now. Of course, you can’t keep the same egg as it would be inedible after this long period of time. However, you can guarantee an egg 40 years from now by paying a monthly premium to your pension fund. You will then be assured of getting an egg regardless of the value of an egg at that time.

Currently a pension is set up in a way which guarantees a certain income, but there is no certainty whether you will be able to meet your basic needs with that income’’.

This is a completely different approach than the current system, so how did you come up with this idea?

‘’The idea we initially participated in had already been tried by the sponsor and turned out to be unsuccessful. We then brainstormed with the team and the word 'needs' were mentioned, which led to my team-mate coming up with Maslow's Pyramid idea. The very same evening I had an appointment in Enschede, but my team continued to work on the idea while enjoying a beer. When I returned, the first concept was on the table”.

You took part in a Blockchain Hackathon for good reason, so what does blockchain have to do with this idea?

‘’Blockchain technology makes the entire transaction process transparent. As a consumer, you have insight into all transaction costs that are made from your pension fund. You see what has happened with your investment and therefore have better insight and control on savings for your retirement age.

In addition, the blockchain offers another option. For the hackathon, we worked out that once you are entitled to a pension, you can actually claim your groceries from your pension fund. As a pension fund, however, you do not want to be a supermarket yourself, so we worked it out in such a way that an auction for collecting the groceries and an auction for the delivery to your house is started. For example, supermarkets and delivery services can subscribe to your order and then choose the one that best fits your needs’’.

What feedback have you received about your idea?

‘’Either people love it, or hate it. Some people were very enthusiastic and others were skeptical. We were advised to focus on energy instead of food, because this product is less complicated”.

What is the next step for the team?

“Our next step is to calculate how the premium of such a food insurance for your retirement age is constructed and actually try to calculate what this will cost’’.

What is the most memorable part of this weekend?

“It has to be the enthusiasm of my team, which has stuck with me in particular. For every intermediate result, we received a balloon from the organization ... it sounds very childish, but our team was extremely happy with this. You also have to celebrate the small successes together!”.