The Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA), an independent body dedicated to driving up standards in pensions administration, has launched ‘The Journey to Full eAdministration Guidance: People and Technology Working Together’.
The Guidance, developed by PASA’s eAdmin Working Group, aims to support administrators, trustees, pension managers and sponsors to benchmark their own arrangements and set objectives and plan for investment in new technology opportunities.
It outlines four key stages for schemes to go through:
Data Quality and Storage: Good quality, accurate and complete data, which is easily accessible and appropriately stored, is the foundation upon which the technology infrastructure will be built;
Systems and Processes: Upgrading or replacing legacy systems is essential. Processes should be automated and connected to member portals, reducing the requirement for manual intervention, including allowing online service for ID verification and not needing paper certificates. This reduces risk and minimises fraud, errors and inefficiencies;
User Interface: Digital interactive member portals will be more engaging than the paper-based communications most members currently receive. Allowing members to ‘self-serve’ allows administrators to focus on the more value-add tasks, making themselves available for interactions with members and assisting vulnerable members;
Reporting: Once the foundations of Data Quality are in place, automating calculations and reporting is straightforward and delivers significant benefits.
Kim Gubler, Chair of PASA, says: “To meet the mandatory requirement to submit electronic data to the pensions Dashboards by 2023, schemes need to start investing and planning now. Our new Guidance aims to effectively partner with every scheme as it moves through its own journey, helping to prioritise and assess where investment is required to improve service delivery and member end-user experience.
Kim Toker, Chair of the PASA eAdministration Working Group, says: “We hope this Guidance will be really helpful for administrators and trustees as they look at how they best meet the needs and expectations of their members. Significant performance improvements can be achieved when people and technology work together. The beneficiaries of this improved service within the pensions industry will be scheme administrators, trustees and, most importantly, members.”
David Fairs, The Pensions Regulator’s Executive Director of Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice, says: “All savers deserve a high-quality modern service, but some parts of the pensions industry are lagging behind in their systems, processes and data. Ensuring pensions are fit for the 21st century may seem daunting, but PASA’s guidance breaks the journey into manageable steps to help those who aren’t sure how to start.”