The Pensions Regulator has opened seven case investigations into record keeping at occupational pension schemes following a wide-ranging review of data standards.
Its thematic review, published today, set out to find whether the industry had met TPR targets for common data (such as names, National Insurance number and date of birth) and what actions schemes were taking to manage and mitigate data gaps.
Although it identified much good practice in the industry, some areas provoked concern and posed risks both to schemes and members.
Schemes with low levels of engagement with their advisers, which also tended to be smaller schemes, were less able to demonstrate that they had effectively tackled record-keeping issues, the regulator said.
Andrew Warwick-Thompson, TPR's executive regulator for defined contribution, governance and administration, said: 'We've opened seven case investigations as a result of our first major review of record-keeping, involving DC and DB [defined benefit] schemes, which may ultimately lead to enforcement action.
'Trustees and administrators should really be treating the maintenance of complete and accurate data as business as usual - it underpins the running of the entire scheme and it is only with the right records that they can ensure the right benefits are being paid to the right members at the right time.'
Among the areas of good practice highlighted by the thematic review were: regular measurement of both common and more detailed conditional data, which includes information on contribution history and leaving date; work to assess and improve the accuracy of data; open dialogue between trustees and administrators on tackling record-keeping challenges; and record-keeping being flagged in scheme risk registers.
Areas of concerns included: lack of action on record keeping, unless prompted by TPR; insufficient focus on conditional data; and the lack of clear roles and responsibilities between trustees and administrators.
31 MARCH 2014 | BY THE ACTUARY TEAM