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Just six in 10 pensions to appear on all-encompassing dashboard

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Savers hoping to find all their pension information in one place with the launch of a new dashboard will be left disappointed as just six in 10 will be found, according to analysis.

The Pensions Dashboard is designed to let savers view all their various pension pots in one place, including government, workplace and private pensions.

It’s a scheme which is nearly two decades in the making and with it due to be launched this year, the industry has a lot of work to do to get it fit for purpose, according to one provider.

PensionBee analysis of current pension data quality reveals that when logging on to the Pensions Dashboard for the first time, savers will only be able to find six out of ten pensions.

It analysed data from over 6,500 instances where it was required to contact a pension provider between July and November 2019. It looked at the number of pensions that could be matched on a first try (match of name, address, National Insurance number and date of birth), those that could be matched on partial identification and those that couldn’t be matched despite a pension pot existing.

Here are the results:

Based on the results, PensionBee said drastic data cleansing actions need to be undertaken by the pensions industry.

The findings show a clear distinction in data quality between newer master trusts and older contract-based schemes. PensionBee said Master trusts’ better quality data is driven by factors including the rollout of Auto-Enrolment in 2014, and the use of newer systems and data maintenance protocols, such as GDPR, which greatly benefit consumers and improve the likelihood of finding a pension.

The success rate for major Auto-Enrolment master trusts, NEST, B&CE The People’s Pension, NOW Pensions and Smart Pension, is fairly high with 79% of these pensions being identified on the first try, 94% were identified either fully or partially, and only 6% could not be identified at all.

But older providers of contract-based schemes saw 52% of pensions identified on the first go, 64% were either fully or partially identified, and 36% could not be identified at all.

‘Huge wake up call to the pension industry’

Clare Reilly, head of corporate development at 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.”

Chris Curry, principal of the Pensions Dashboard industry 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, as the Pensions minister Guy Opperman has, to get customer data in a fit state now so that it is ready for the introduction of pensions dashboards.

“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.”

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