Pension Dashboard 

Pension schemes ready to feed into dashboard

Pension schemes ready to feed into dashboard

The majority of defined benefit (DB) schemes is ready to feed into the pensions dashboard, with a mere 7 per cent regarding their data as poor quality.

According pension software provider Aquila Heywood data quality should not be an issue for creating the pension dashboard.

A survey among its customers across the public and private sector found schemes were ready to submit data on the scheme name, contact details, a value of the pension and the date of that valuation.

Simon Barker, CEO at Aquila Heywood, told FTAdviser said: "The Pensions Regulator has been putting pressure on these schemes for several years now to improve data quality, and all of these schemes have taken that request seriously.

"The data isn't perfect, but they are working on it and improving it all the time, so I don't think that is a major issue for the dashboard.

"There might be some tiny DB schemes with a few members that might be run on spreadsheets, but that is a tiny percentage. The vast majority and all the big schemes are on technological systems. For them, participating isn't a challenge."

The plan behind the pension dashboard, which is due to launch in 2019, is to create the technology to allow savers to see all of their retirement pots in one place at the same time, giving them a greater awareness of their assets and how to plan for their retirement.

Earlier this month, the government said it would let the industry take lead on the project after it had emerged in July that Ms McVey had made moves to kill off the project, saying the service should not be provided by the state.

Mr Barker said including data in the dashboard should not be an issue for legacy defined contributions schemes either.

He said: "A lot of these are with life and pension providers, they do have multiple legacy platforms which might have issues, but most of those organisations have opened their old systems up.

"It is a program of work that needs to be done, but the industry can absolutely make it happen."

FTAdviser reported last week that more than 20 pension providers and administrators are demanding ‘a firm stance on compulsion’ from the government on the pension dashboard after coming together to discuss the project.

Mr Barker said this compulsion was needed to make sure every scheme provides data to the dashboard.

Aquila Heywood has clients in the DB sector, including private and public schemes, alongside some DC providers.

The firm was one of the six original technology partners chosen in 2016 by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to support the Dashboard prototype project.

Since delivering a prototype in April last year, Aquila Heywood has continued to invest in the project, developing an integration service provider (ISP) infrastructure and interfaces.

Mr Barker explained how the data integration would work. He said: "When the standards for the dashboard are finalised, we will make some development changes to our product including those standards.