The Pensions Dashboard is not new, we’ve been speaking about it for what seems like an eternity, but we’re now into 2022, so the likely 2023 date for the 1st wave of schemes to onboard is fast approaching.
Whilst we await the draft regulations and for exact dates to be finalised, many schemes will be considering their priorities for 2022, so now is the time to prepare and to start work to become ‘Dashboard Ready’, regardless of the size of your scheme.
We know that pensions are not top priority for many individuals and anything that encourages members to engage and deliver better outcomes has to be a good thing. However, it’s important to recognise that we have one shot at this – if we get it wrong at the outset and the member experience is poor, then confidence will be lost, and the member will not return. The focus therefore has to be on getting the member experience right first time.
Because of the importance of focusing on the end-to-end customer experience, we’ve pulled together expertise from across our business to form a multi-disciplinary steering group, including Executive support. This approach is to ensure we consider the impact of Dashboards in the widest possible context and means we’ll have everything ready for clients to meet their pensions Dashboard obligations, from the connection to the Dashboard, data quality, data cleanse and technical details, right through to the member experience, including communications, information and the way we engage.
We’re working hard to ensure that everything is in place for clients, but we’re also encouraging clients to bring Dashboards to the top (or at least near to the top!) of their agenda. So, what does this mean? Below are my top 3 tips for getting started in 2022:
1 – Familiarise yourself with the requirements and how to comply
It’s important that trustees are fully aware of their obligations and are able to get confidence from their providers that they will be ready. Trustees can only do this if they are fully up to speed with all things Dashboard. We’ve run a number of training sessions which have been extremely well received and will continue to provide these, as well as written updates throughout 2022 as further details become available.
2 – Understand how Dashboard will impact on strategy and other projects
Think about other projects that you might be undertaking this year and whether this will help with Dashboard. An obvious example of this is data cleansing; thinking about the data for Dashboard at the same time could be a very efficient and cost-effective strategy. My colleague Geraldine Brassett says ‘there is certainly merit in considering Dashboard data analysis as part of any wider data cleanse projects that are being undertaken. For schemes where there are complex benefit designs and lots of legacy categories, the challenge is likely to be bigger and the sooner this is looked at the better. We’ve developed a checklist which clients can use to provide a high level assessment of data and that’s a great starting point ’.
3 – Discuss the implications with your administrators
For example, what will be the impact on resource if there’s an increased number of member queries? What key messages around Dashboard do you want to be communicated to members? Does your administrator have the capacity to deliver all of the Dashboard services required? What management information (MI) will be available and what will the costs be?
All of these questions will need answering and some of the answers may only be available once we know more. The key is to start having these conversations now with your administrator to get ahead of the game and we’re gearing up to do just that.
2022 will be the year to get Dashboard ready – there are still unknowns, but that’s not a reason to defer action and delay planning. At Capita we’re ready and able to help with all of your Dashboard needs.
We’re committed to making Pensions Dashboard a success and we are actively supporting the industry in many ways. For example, we’re an Alpha participant in the Pension Dashboard Programme and we are members of the PASA Pensions Dashboard and PDP Software Providers Working Group.
As part of the Alpha cohort, it’s been really pleasing to see the industry (“the Magnificent Seven” as Chris Curry called us last month) working together to deliver this important initiative and this collaboration will continue throughout 2022 as we develop and test all things Dashboard.
As one of the largest pension administrators and pension software providers in the UK, we are uniquely placed to understand both the factors that are required for success, as well as being able to solve all of the challenges that will no doubt be uncovered on the journey.
If you’d like to learn more about what we’re doing, please contact Geraldine (Geraldine.firstname.lastname@example.org) or Anish Rav (email@example.com). We’d be delighted to hear from you.