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Bridging the Pension Gap: Insights from Oscar van der Laan


Bianca Iulia Simion

· 25 min read
Bridging the Pension Gap: Insights from Oscar van der Laan
In this exclusive interview, we had the opportunity to speak with Oscar van der Laan, co-founder and CEO of Pensify, a pioneering fintech company aimed at transforming the pension landscape in Europe. With a vision to provide every European with a secure and fulfilling retirement, Pensify is revolutionizing the industry with its innovative approach. Keep on reading!

Can you please introduce yourself and your role at Pensify?

I am Oscar van der Laan, co-founder and CEO at Pensify. I have about 10 years of working experience divided between Mergers & Acquisitions roles and Business Development working for Bloomon, a European B2C scaleup company. My most noteworthy experiences include working on the IPO of, a debt transaction for a global transport company and selling a Dutch education technology company for a private equity investor.

What inspired you to start Pensify and address the pension gap issue in Europe?

My parents own and operate an SME company with <10 employees in the Netherlands. Witnessing their difficulties back in the day setting up a pension plan was a big realization that this industry rarely and slowly innovates. Combining this with our vision that every European deserves a happy retirement and the newly introduced European pension legislation in the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the EU wide as well as a strong, rising awareness amongst young people to save more for their retirement, I was inspired to start the company and make a change!

Could you provide some insights into the current state of pensions in Europe and the challenges faced by employers and employees?

Pensions are very much in the picture in Europe. In France, there have been riots and strikes for months purely about pension reform. The industry is dominated by old-fashioned 2nd pillar providers with outdated technology communicating to their savers via paperwork. Additionally, there currently is no pan-European flexible pension provider for SMEs, expats or freelancers as there are other investment products.

Challenges for employers include long lead times as well as high costs and complexity via pension advisors to set up a plan. Most employees have no access since they are working in SME companies.

How does Pensify aim to solve these challenges and make it easier for SMEs to offer pensions to their employees?

We will provide solutions to. Pensify is fully online, app-based and with competitive costs for both the employer and employees. We will offer the product via third parties to employers easily and online within 10 minutes and so diminishing the main reasons why setting up pension plans are usually postponed.

What are the key differentiators of Pensify's platform compared to existing pension providers in the market?

Pensify will differentiate itself due to a much shorter lead time for SME entrepreneurs, a (future) international pension plan, a mobile app and fully embedded and integrated pension solutions.

Can you discuss the strategy of integrating Pensify's pension product into third-party platforms and how it accelerates pension connectivity for SME entrepreneurs?

We will integrate a pension product into other platforms within the financial industry to ensure pensions become available to entrepreneurs and their advisors. Our experienced tech team has been working on the innovative product since late 2022 and we will introduce more details during the summer.

What are the advantages of partnering with Antler and how has their support contributed to Pensify's growth?

Antler has given us the opportunity to build a founding team with only the idea of innovating the pension industry. Additionally, the Antler team provided us advice on making progress as a startup in the early days as well as helping shape the business model. Finally, their large international network and startup capital are supported as well.

What are some of the regulatory challenges and considerations that Pensify has faced in the European pension landscape?

In terms of regulation, Pensify has received a large boost. In March 2022, new pan-European legislation was introduced to offer pensions across borders in all 27 countries of the European Union. This provides the opportunity for Pensify to offer international companies, expats and freelancers transferable pensions for the first time!

Challenges include the need to have the correct tax regulations per country in place as well as obtaining 1 more (EU) financial license. However, considering our research since 2022, including talking to experts, we view these challenges more as a time constraint than showstoppers.

What are the next steps for Pensify in terms of scaling and expanding its operations?

We have entered into commercial partnerships with Dutch market leaders in the financial space with whom we are piloting to third parties and SME entrepreneurs. Additionally, we have a handful of SME companies that have committed to signing up as customers once we are going live in the summer.

Pensify will scale in the Netherlands via a highly scalable B2B2C model offering our product to a large number of SME customers at once. In early 2024, we intend to have raised a new larger financing round to roll out a partnership strategy throughout Europe.

Are there any plans to enter new markets beyond the Netherlands? If yes, what factors would you consider for market entry?

Factors to consider are fiscal advantages, market size in terms of employers offering pensions and propensity to save amongst savers. We will not yet disclose the countries at this point, however in 2024 we will enter new Western European markets.

Do you have any upcoming product enhancements or features that you can share with us?

We have plans to upgrade and introduce products and/or features for 2024 but we cannot share this information just yet.

What excites you the most about the future of Pensify and the potential it holds?

We are excited due to the strong positive interest from potential clients, (international) third parties and investors due to our competitive advantages, proposition and knowledgeable team. The team is very much looking forward to reshaping an outdated industry on the international stage and providing millions of Europeans with the retirement savings they need!

Any final thoughts or messages for our audience?

The team is open to engaging and gaining knowledge from industry experts and/or interested investors to learn more about the (international) pension industry. We are eager to receive input on many important aspects of the business, such as commercial traction, international expansion, tax and pension laws, etc. We are looking forward to conquering the pension industry together!

Pensify raises €600,000 to offer European SMEs easy pensions for their employees, via integrations into third-party platforms. Explore the round materials here.

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