'Unworkable pressure' on resources ahead of pension dashboards deadlines

Work to meet pension dashboards deadlines could come at the cost of other projects due to "unworkable pressure on resources", according to research from KGC associates in partnership with Bravura and Delta Financial Systems.

The survey found that while all participants expect to connect to the dashboards ecosystem by the deadline, most felt it would come at the cost of other projects due to "unworkable pressure on resources".

In addition to this, 60 per cent of third-party administrators (TPAs) and 80 per cent of pension schemes are planning to buy an integrated service provider (ISP) solution to minimalise resourcing shortages and meet staging deadlines

Data ownership and control were identified as the top priority for both TPAs and pension schemes when selecting an ISP, followed by proven scale provider.

A 'cheap and cheerful' ISP was the lowest consideration for respondents, although the research found that fixed fees were considered important, with TPAs commenting that they knew the shape of pricing but not the figures, leaving them unsure about how much would be passed through to their clients.

More broadly, data security was ranked as the top pensions dashboards concern for pension schemes, while implementation window/project resources was the top concern amongst TPAs.

Commenting on the findings, Bravura pensions specialist and principal consultant, Jonathan Hawkins, said: “Following years of false starts and endless debate, Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) connection dates are rapidly approaching, but our research shows pension schemes are concerned the impact this ambitious project has on their day-to-day business.

“Dashboards presents an enormous challenge to the retirement savings sector and understandably, pension schemes, TPAs and pensions providers may not feel confident to build and maintain their own connections to comply and make dashboards a success."

Adding to this, KGC Associates, director, Lesley Carline, stated: “This is an incredibly important topic for the financial services sector as the next step in giving individuals greater freedom, visibility and control over their pensions.

“However, the PDP has been a long time coming because it is not a simple undertaking. Finding and presenting pensions data from multiple sources including schemes, platforms and providers in one place is no mean feat.

“Today’s white paper shows pension scheme administrators still have a lot to get to grips with by next spring. To live up to the expectations of pension savers and the government, pension schemes and providers will need to make sure their data, systems and processes are in order well ahead of the connection deadline.”

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