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How blockchain can transform a teachers’ pension system

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When teachers retire, they expect accurate pension payouts. That’s also the goal of plan administrators, who have an obligation to ensure pension system integrity.

Still, inadvertent errors can occur. And if a cybercriminal breaks into the system or corrupts teacher information such as time of service, salary or date of birth, the system will be compromised. That’s why we at the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) engaged IBM to develop a blockchain solution for our primary school teachers’ e-pension system.

Currently a proof of concept (POC) powered by the IBM Blockchain Platform from IBM Cloud, the solution is a permissioned network of teachers and other stakeholders for storing and managing pension information. It capitalizes on blockchain’s transparent, security-rich and tamperproof distributed ledger technology to defend against unauthorized access and verify that teachers receive correct disbursements.

A platform for digital services

The pension solution exemplifies BCC’s work to create shared IT platforms for digital transformation in government. Any agency can use our blockchain platform to secure information against tampering, fraud and other malicious activities. And permissions and cryptography within blockchain can boost trust by ensuring that network members are who they say they are.

The pension system is our first blockchain use case. It was proposed by developers with the Bangladesh National Digital Architecture (BNDA) team, which has developed an e-Governance framework to standardize digital service delivery for all government entities of Bangladesh.  In discussion with stakeholders, the team set a principal: To keep all critical information in blockchain to make the system more transparent, trustworthy and beneficial to teachers.

Immutable and transparent records

The e-pension solution team included BNDA developers, an education expert and IBM Blockchain engineers. Called the Digital Service Book & e-Pension System, it populates the ledger with existing pension information, where it becomes immutable and transparent to network members.

To create the POC, the team capitalized on the rich integrated development environment in the IBM Blockchain Platform, and it will also power the production version. Development took just three months.

When the solution goes live, teachers will access their profiles and pension records through the web or a mobile app. The distributed ledger will link to other government systems through the National e-service bus, a shared middleware platform that is maintained by the BNDA team.

Furthering digital transformation

We believe blockchain will increase confidence in the e-pension system by ensuring that payouts are based on accurate and authentic information. Its success will likely encourage other agencies to explore applications for our core blockchain platform, furthering BCC’s mission of transforming governmental digital services.

From time to time, we invite industry thought leaders, academic experts and partners, to share their opinions and insights on current trends in blockchain to the Blockchain Pulse blog. While the opinions in these blog posts are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of IBM, this blog strives to welcome all points of view to the conversation.

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