Pasa publishes pensions dashboards data matching guidance

The Pensions Administration Standards Association (Pasa) has published initial guidance on the choice of data matching convention (DMC) schemes must make to ensure compliance with the upcoming pensions dashboards legislation.

As part of the legislative duties for pensions dashboards, schemes and providers will need to soon decide how they want to digitally compare and match ‘find requests’ from users of dashboards against all the records they hold.

The guidance, which has received industry-wide support, including from the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association and Association of British Insurers (ABI), therefore looks at how schemes can compare ‘find requests’ from dashboard users against the member records they hold.

Supplemental guidance is also expected to be published in 2022, following the Pensions Dashboards Programme's (PDP) alpha build and test phase, and an upcoming consultation from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on the draft dashboards regulations, which is expected "this winter".

However, Pasa clarified that whilst the industry is still awaiting the specific the detail, pension schemes can start to consider the importance of matching and data quality now, including the risks associated with each option and the most appropriate option for them.

In particular, it suggested that the first step should be to fully understand what data elements will be passed to all schemes from the pension finder service.

The guidance identified three core data elements for matching: surname, date of birth and national insurance number (Nino), emphasising that schemes will need to explore how accurate the data held on this is.

Commenting on the guidance, Pasa chair, Kim Gubler, commented: “As the pensions industry’s administration standards body, it makes sense for Pasa to lead on helping schemes decide how wish to match their records to the users of pensions dashboards.

“We’re grateful for the industry-wide support for the Pasa DMC Guidance and will continue to work hard to deliver practical support for schemes’ compliance, so that members have a good experience of dashboards.”

Pasa Pensions Dashboards Working Group chair and EQ Solutions director, Chris Connelly, added: “This initial guidance is essential reading for all scheme trustees, pension providers and their suppliers. It is easy to sit back and wait for everything to be decided, but in truth, the scale of the job at hand means we must make an early start.

“Whilst it is true we do not yet know everything, we do know plenty to get started. My thanks to everyone in the working group and our partners across industry in producing this first draft. I look forward to being in the conversations this document should start.”

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