Updated: Nov 8
The advancing launch of the UK’s Pensions Dashboards in 2023 edges closer as the Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA) recently published guidance for schemes on their choice of data matching convention (DMC). Pensions dashboards will enable individuals to access their pension information online, securely and all in one place, thereby supporting better planning for retirement and growing financial well-being.
One of the biggest challenges with the Pensions Dashboards is how to safely identify and match individuals to their pensions when they log in. Schemes need to establish and adopt industry-wide conventions, that strike an appropriate balance between the sensitivity and specificity of matching - set the bar too high, and they risk pensions not being found while setting it too low risks the user gaining access to view the wrong pension.
Importance of data accuracy
“Collaborative work was needed to help solve this challenge while maintaining high standards of customer service, so the Department of Work and Pensions has been working with providers, as well as the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) to produce a guidance document,” explains Danielle Higgins, Managing Director of The Tracing Group.
“As a data management company, we know that data accuracy is key - schemes have been working towards a high level of confidence in the accuracy of surnames, dates of birth and National Insurance numbers of deferred and active members through continual and systematic checking of the accuracy of actual values,” continued Danielle, who supports schemes to improve their data quality.
Optimising Data Matching for the Pensions Dashboard Rollout
Every pension scheme and provider needed to decide what particular combination of personal data items it is best for them to match (such as Surname, Date of Birth, Address, National Insurance Number and so on). “It is critical that any industry data matching conventions (DMCs) developed must be adoptable right across the entire pensions universe: state pension, public service schemes, private sector schemes (both in-house and third-party administered), master trusts and all types of commercial pension/buy-out providers,” explains Danielle.
Based on the consultation period and collaborative work, PASA has now published an initial Guidance on the choice of data matching convention (DMC) that schemes must make ahead of their compliance with the upcoming Pensions Dashboards legislation. The PASA DMC Guidance document has industry-wide support across PLSA, ABI and leading suppliers of pensions administration software.
DWP will shortly consult on draft dashboard regulations, and the Pensions Dashboard Programme is commencing its alpha build and test phase, with supplemental PASA Guidance expected to follow later this year.