Articles - Is the Pensions Dashboards reset a blessing in disguise

There is no doubt that the statement released by Parliament announcing the delay of the Pensions Dashboards rollout will be frustrating to most in the industry, but others may have breathed a sigh of relief. As it stands, there has been no confirmation of the new proposed staging dates and we suspect it is unlikely that we will receive an updated staging timetable until this summer, with estimates of up to a year’s delay. However, perhaps this delay is a blessing in disguise.

 By Priya Patel, Analyst at LCP

 As this summer’s staging dates were looming nearer, many trustees were trying to get on top of the mountain of data preparation work required in order to become “Dashboard ready”. It appears that we have now been given some additional, and maybe much-needed breathing space, and we should be making make the most out of this additional time.

 It is vital to maintain the momentum built to date on the Pensions Dashboard, as viewing this delay as an opportunity to let preparations slip could lead to significant risks in failing to comply with the requirements further down the line. At this point you may be asking yourself: what work could we possibly do given the lack of clarity surrounding the new staging dates? Our answer: data cleansing!

 We don’t suspect anyone is jumping for joy at the idea of proactive data cleansing. This can often be a mammoth task with no apparent end in sight. But a data cleansing exercise can bring significant benefits and cost savings for a range of projects, as well as making your scheme “Dashboard data ready” for when the new staging dates are confirmed. For example:

 If you’re looking to insure some of your scheme benefits, having clean data is a key factor in getting engaged pricing from insurers. It could mean a c5% difference in premium (so £5m on a £100m buy-in or the difference between being able to transact or not).

 If you’re going through GMP equalisation, having clean data makes the process more efficient, even if you just consider the effort involved in contacting scheme members to tell them of the outcome of the exercise.

 And member communications generally will be much more effective if you have their latest contact details on file. You’ll get better member engagement, better responses to bulk exercises and fewer bounce-backs.

 To assess the accuracy of your scheme’s member and benefit data will without doubt be useful no matter for what purpose. This is an opportunity to capitalise on the preparation work completed to date and ensure your scheme’s data is “Dashboard data ready” for when the new staging dates are confirmed. Data cleansing is currently a hot topic due to other industry projects such as GMP Equalisation and de-risking, and so by beginning to cleanse your scheme’s data at this stage in the Dashboards project, you will be indirectly preparing for other important projects throughout your scheme’s strategic journey.

 LCP has recently undertaken a new piece of research which takes real-world DB scheme data and runs it against the massive databases of a leading Credit Reference Agency. The results are eye-opening!

 We are holding a webinar where we will be presenting the results of this research that highlights new tools available for data cleansing, to help improve our clients' data in readiness. Please register using the link below, or visit our Pensions Dashboards page, if you are interested in finding out how LCP can help improve your scheme’s data, not just in preparation for Pensions Dashboards, but for other industry projects that may be relevant to your scheme now or in the future.  

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