Nearly half of pension trustees and managers are not sure when their scheme will link to the UK Pensions Dashboards Programme, a survey by Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has found.
Despite ongoing government and regulator-led consultations, larger schemes and master trusts will start linking up to the programme's ecosystem – known as ‘staging’ – in April 2023, while medium-sized schemes will follow a year later.
It is hoped that this will enable users to access all information about their pension savings online, securely, and in one place.
However, WTW's survey of 317 pension scheme trustees and in-house pension managers or directors found that 42% are not aware of when their scheme’s pensions dashboard staging date will be.
The findings also show that 37% are aware of the timings, but are concerned that they may not be able to achieve the requirements in time, while 64% are worried about the accuracy and availability of relevant data needed to complete the process.
“Meeting the criteria required for dashboard’s integration will require more commitment, information and collaboration than any previous change the pensions industry has seen,” said Jane Murray, managing director for technology and administration solutions at WTW.
“There are some knotty issues which pension schemes need to resolve before staging, such as calculating and providing estimated retirement income (ERI) values, and so it’s very important that all the underlying data being used needs is accurate.
“But the good news is that most of the data schemes will need to meet the dashboards’ requirements will already be available to them via their existing data reporting.”
Half of the survey respondents said that the biggest benefit of dashboards would be pensions scheme members’ ability to finally see all their pensions information in one place, while a quarter cited more accurate retirement planning as the top advantage.
To prepare themselves for staging, WTW recommends that schemes continue to cleanse their data, plot the steps needed to meet staging obligations, and assess whether there are benefits to staging early and communicate plans to members.
“It’s important to continue data cleansing so that you can match up members ‘find’ data, i.e. data that matches or partially matches a member’s personal details; and their ‘view’ data, which is shown on the dashboard, including ERI values,” Murray said.
“Accurate data will be key to schemes’ success in this area and identifying any data gaps now and digitising any data still held in paper files will help as staging deadlines loom closer.”
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings