Survey reveals apprehension and uncertainty ahead of dashboard deadlines

Almost half (42 per cent) of trustees and pensions managers are not aware of when their scheme’s pensions dashboards staging date will be, a poll conducted by WTW has revealed.

The survey found that over a third (37 per cent) were aware of the timings but were concerned they may not be able to meet the requirements in time.

Furthermore, 64 per cent of trustees and pension managers were worried about the accuracy and availability of relevant data that will be needed to complete the process.

Despite the challenges faced by schemes to meet the dashboard criteria, 52 per cent of those surveyed thought the biggest benefit of the dashboards would be pensions scheme members’ ability to finally see all their pensions information in one place, while 24 per cent cited the biggest benefit as enabling more accurate retirement planning.

WTW managing director technology and administration solutions, Jane Murray, commented: “Although the regulations remain in draft, and consultations are ongoing, it’s unlikely that the requirements will fundamentally differ from those we have sight of now.

“Meeting the criteria required for dashboard’s integration will require more commitment, information and collaboration than any previous change the pensions industry has seen.

“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.”

She noted that it was important for schemes to continue data cleansing so they can match up members’ ‘find’ and ‘view’ data, including ERI values.

“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,” Murray continued.

“Pension schemes should be having early discussions with their third-party administrators and systems providers to establish how they can make sure their scheme can meet the technical standards and is ready for connection when the time comes, as well as ensuring they understand their data-readiness.

“The good news is there’s light at the end of the tunnel for savers. With any kind of initiative of this magnitude, a huge amount of work needs to happen behind the scenes. But pensions dashboards have been created to help members to keep track of their pension pots across all their historic employment as well as their state pension entitlement.

“For the first time people will be able to log into one platform and view all their pensions in the same place, and that can only be a good thing for people’s financial wellbeing and peace of mind."

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