75% of pension schemes believe we need more investment to improve data

XPS Pensions Group (“XPS”) reveal 75% of those responsible for pension schemes believe more investment is needed to improve member data, according to a survey of attendees at their DATAROCKS event today which focused on improving scheme data and member engagement. 

Following the Pensions Regulator’s data reporting guidance published in 2010, trustees were encouraged to review their data regularly. Since then we have seen the announcement of pensions dashboards from the Department of Work and Pensions and the issue of GMP equalisation raised, both of which have put more emphasis on the importance of having accurate member data. The view from delegates at XPS’s DATAROCKS event is that schemes are focused on improving their data, but additional investment is required to do so. 

At the DATAROCKS event today, guest speaker Margaret Snowdon shared her insights on the actions being taken by TPR to improve data accuracy in pension schemes as well as the PASA guidance for DB transfers and the new PSIG Pensions Scams Code. 

Vicky Mullins, Senior Consultant, XPS Pensions Group said: “Improving data not only improves the accuracy of the benefits being paid to members, it also creates an efficient clean platform to introduce new benefit options and engage with members around the choices available to them. Having a better understanding of your members allows a scheme to not only pay out the right benefits but calculate accurate valuations which can improve liability assessments and scheme funding plans. Clean data is essential to improving the health of your pension scheme.” 

Margaret Snowdon OBE, Director of TPR, said: “The Pensions Regulator has been asking schemes to clean up their data since 2010 but we are still seeing the same issues today as we were then. With an increased focus on good administration, TPR is providing more clarity and enforcing higher standards of trustees to have good data. Good data is not only essential for the day-to-day running of a scheme, it will be required to comply with the pensions dashboards initiative and has an impact on a scheme’s ability to de-risk. Data is a really valuable asset to pension schemes and improving accuracy and detail should be seen as an investment not a cost.”