BLOG: A positive start for the pensions dashboard

Written by Natalie Tuck

With the deadline for the pensions dashboard prototype fast approaching there has been lots of talk in the industry about the need for providers to share their data in order for it to be a success.

Pensions Administration Standards Association chair Margaret Snowdon, who is also an independent member of the Treasury’s steering group on the dashboard, told the Financial Times this week that companies should be forced to share data about their members, as some will not do so by choice.

Earlier this month, ITM’s director Guy Ridley, which is one of six firms working with the Association of British Insurers to develop the prototype, also urged the industry to work together to agree processes and implement data sharing standards.

With the issue fast gaining traction, Pensions Age asked others in the industry for their opinion on whether data sharing should be compulsory or not. The good news is the response, so far, has been quite positive.

A quick poll of our Twitter followers found that 71 per cent are in favour of both defined contribution and defined benefit schemes being forced to share data, 18 per cent believe only DC schemes should be forced, 4 per cent believe only DB schemes should be forced and just 7 per cent are not in favour of any type of schemes being forced.

Various comment from a request we sent out also points to the industry in support of compulsory data sharing of the dashboard. However, it was noted that if this is the case, it must be done in a “flexible and proportionate manner”.

The majority of the concern over schemes not providing data is with older DB schemes, who may also need to clean up their data before sharing it. Our Twitter poll points to this too, as more believe only DC schemes should be forced to provide data.

There’s also the headache of aligning all this data once it is provided and with respect to DB schemes, what will be shown in terms of a pensionable amount on a person’s dashboard. That, however, is for the working group to decide, but with a large chunk of the industry onside, it should make the job just that little bit easier.

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