5 minute read

Pensions dashboards are coming. 

According to Money Marketing, an estimated 73% of people have multiple pension pots, 17% of which have lost track of one or more pensions. 

For each policy, the pension holder must retain paperwork and contact providers to make changes. Very easily, correspondence is lost or falls out-of-date when a customer moves house, changes their name, or has new personal circumstances.

Consequently, the customer may not have access to a clear view of the health of their retirement funds, leading to added inconvenience in chasing any missed payments. 

For pensions administrators, inaccurate information causes extra workload in chasing new details to improve the quality of customer records. 

What is a pensions dashboard?

Pension dashboards will tackle the challenge of providing clarity across multiple pensions. 

A user will be able to log into a single place to see all pensions and schemes in one place, in a simple format. A pensions dashboard will display the information online, securely, and in one place to give a clear picture of their entitlement.  

It will include all private pensions, defined benefit or defined contribution, retail or workplace. Pensions dashboards will also show any public sector and state pensions but will not show anything already being paid.

Who is developing pension dashboards?

The Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) is responsible for designing and implementing how pensions dashboards will function.  

The PDP is a joint project between the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), the Government, industry stakeholders and financial regulators. The initiative focuses on developing the ecosystem to ensure data standards work for all interested parties.

The ecosystem incorporates the dashboards, find and view interfaces from data providers, and the digital architecture services at the project’s core. 

Once fully operational, the pensions dashboard ecosystem will allow individuals to view all their plan data.

How will pensions dashboards work?

The Pensions Dashboards Programme describes it as:

“There is no central database within the ecosystem that holds personal information supplied by users or pensions information. Instead, the ecosystem functions like a giant switchboard, connecting users with their pensions via dashboards.”

In essence, users will navigate to the dashboard and submit a request to find pensions information from providers.

The dashboard will carry out an identity check, and only once those conditions are met will it generate a unique identifier to give consent to perform a search. Following this search, the provider authorises the flow of information to the dashboard. 

At this point, the information is sent to the dashboard for the user to see. 

pensions dashboard ecosystem
Source: https://www.pensionsdashboardsprogramme.org.uk/ecosystem/ecosystem-process-flows/

Why do we need a pension dashboard?

The vision of the Pensions Dashboards Programme is very straightforward.

“To enable individuals to access their pensions information online, securely and all in one place, thereby supporting better planning for retirement and growing financial wellbeing.” 

Chris Curry, Principal of the Pensions Dashboards Programme

Pensions dashboards will enable individuals to see their pension information in one place to help them plan for retirement and their financial well-being. 

People can use the dashboards to:

  • Find schemes and reconnect any lost pension pots
  • Understand the current value and estimated retirement income

Currently, people have to contact pension tracing services if they have lost pot access. 

When will pensions dashboards be available?

The project is progressing through a planned timeline

Pension schemes will connect with the PDP ecosystem on a staggered basis, and under the Pension Schemes Act 2021, all pension schemes will have to connect in the long term.

The early phases of the pensions dashboards timelines are complete, and it is now at stage 3, which is voluntary connection and ongoing testing. In this phase, volunteer pension schemes and service providers have been connected and are using real data for testing.

Phase 4, from 2023, is a staged application where schemes and providers will become legally obliged to connect to the pensions dashboards. 

Once the project reaches critical mass, the dashboards will officially launch to the public, expected around mid to late 2024.

From late 2024 to 2026, the final stage is business as usual.

What does this mean for pension providers?

For organisations that run pension schemes, there is some work to do in preparation. Pensions dashboards will only perform as well as the data that is inputted. 

In computer science, the concept is that nonsense input data (garbage) produces the nonsense output:

“GIGO: garbage in, garbage out.” 

Pensions providers will need to question customer data accuracy:

  • Is the information we hold on the recipient accurate, e.g. date of birth or next of kin?
  • Has the partner/spouse information been updated in the last 3-4 years?
  • Do we have the latest contact details to enable easy communication?
  • If/when we can provide communications, do we have their consent?

If customer data is strong and correct, pensions correspondence will be deliverable. With this, providers will save time, money and resources in trying to communicate, leaving fewer pension pots in limbo. 

How to prepare for pensions dashboards

Organisations should therefore take steps to get their data for the transition by conducting audits and filling any gaps. They need to know the number of beneficiaries at pensionable age, whether they are still in the same locations and if they have remarried to estimate the costs each year.

One of Datagraphic’s clients, Lafarge, told us that pension information could become outdated within 3-4 years. For example, their records become incomplete as members move house, get married, or experience bereavement. 

Poor quality data is an issue for communication and causes problems for organisations using pension trustees to plan the money in the scheme to pay members’ pensions. When planning for the cost of benefits, these data gaps can cause problems that hit the bottom line. Insurance companies will assume the worst-case scenario without an accurate picture and propose higher premiums.

Improving data accuracy

A key message from stakeholders involved with pensions dashboards is that data accuracy is key to success.

At great expense, providers send high volumes of correspondence to keep in touch with members. They have high print requirements, including statements and changes to terms and conditions – each relative to their unique pension schemes.

‘Gone away’ or returned replies cost the organisation wasted mail and administrative time to investigate or follow up.

To reduce and even eliminate this unnecessary expense, document automation software can take the pain out of data cleansing.

coins and a calculator laying on top of a pension overview document

Using automation to deliver automated communications

Using a trusted partner such as Datagraphic enables pensions teams to work with an organisation experienced in delivering outbound and inbound response campaigns.

Existing clients use our Aceni multichannel communications platform to send automated outbound mail, prompting customers to update personal details without additional resources. 

Once correspondence is received, inbound responses can be processed, consolidated and imported into their system.

No additional security checks are needed as Datagraphic is already certified with ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus and fully complies with the GDPR. 

We already digitally present and print documents such as pension statements using the Epay online payroll portal, so adding projects to cleanse data is a simple process. 

If you want to learn more about how multichannel communications software can support integration with pensions dashboards, please don’t hesitate to contact us.