A warning has been issued that just 6 in 10 pensions might make it onto the long-awaited pensions dashboard if firms don’t start to improve their data quality.
Specialists PensionBee have analysed currently available pensions data and believe potential users of the dashboard will be disappointed to find that not all pension pots will be listed because the data is not available in the right form.
The analysis was based on contacting firms for 6,500 clients’ pension details between July and November 2019 using three criteria:
- Those that could be matched on the first pass/li>
- Matches based on partial identification/li>
- Those that could not be matched despite belief that a pension pot exists/li>
Information used to identify a client’s savings included name, date of birth, National Insurance number and address.
The experiment located 61% of pots (4,056) first time and 13% of those found later had some elements of the data missing while 26% could not be found.
Best performers were the newer master trusts, like People’s Pension and Nest, with 79% found on the first go and just 6% not being found using any of the criteria.
Older, contract-based pension scheme providers had a 52% hit rate on the first pass and 36% hjad pension pots which could not be identified at all.
The government is planning to introduce a digital ID to identify specific pensions on the new dashboard, but it is unlikely to be available when the scheme launches.
It is more likely savers will have to search using the current name, date of birth, National Insurance number and address system.
Fit for purpose
Clare Reilly of PensionBee, said: “By the time it launches, savers will have waited more than 20 years for a dashboard so it needs to be fit for purpose from day one.
“This data should be a huge wake up call to the pensions industry. Those with legacy books of business, spread across systems and geographical locations around the country need to finally get their houses in order.
The reputation and future of pensions depend on it.
“Whilst they do this only a staged approach can avoid what would otherwise be certain delay. If we want to launch with the best quality data, it’s clear master trusts lead the way.”
Last month Pensions Minister Guy Opperman urged providers to get on with the task of preparing their data so it is secure, accurate and user-friendly before the dashboard launches.
He said: “We’re working hard to get a better understanding of the current data landscape so we can take it into account as we plan the operational design and delivery of these services.”
Chris Curry, head of the Pensions Dashboard delivery group, said: “Having accurate and accessible data is critical for pensions dashboards to be a useful tool for consumers.
We want to encourage pension providers to get customer data in a fit state now so that it is ready for the introduction of pensions dashboards.