Admin & Data Forum Event 2021

Data and admin need a conscious uncoupling to provide best outcomes for schemes and members

What does the future of pensions administration and data need to look like? The two go hand-in-hand and will always be inextricably linked. But there is growing evidence that a conscious uncoupling may bring the best outcomes for members, trustees and providers, whilst creating room for innovation and specialism to bring real progress.

Should we separate admin and data to achieve more?

Data has always been seen as an admin ‘problem’. Wherever data is involved, the responsibility to handle it falls to admin, and even on an ongoing basis, admin are expected to keep a handle on data.

But, objectives aren’t truly aligned. Admin’s key tasks are directed towards day-to-day admin. So data is only looked at in respect of those objectives.

That’s where schemes have come a cropper – with projects like GMP equalisation – where the data requirements are different from day-to-day admin.

Perhaps, by splitting the two, and using the specialisms that exist in each area, we can deliver better, more innovative approaches to some of the biggest opportunities…

1 Digital pensions

From pensions dashboard, to self service, automation and more, there’s a heavy reliance on accessible, high quality data.

When data’s accessible opportunities broaden way beyond dashboards.

2 One-off delivery

GMP equalisation, as well as risk reduction exercises like buy-outs, already separate data from admin, but if we did this more consciously we can improve it, become more efficient and even save money.

3 Communications

Data can be used to inform initiatives, drive engagement and get the right messages to the right people at the right time.

Communications rely on data for the output, but using data to inform can have great advantages.

To separate and specialise?

Some larger schemes and funds are already looking at whether it’s best to enlist specialists for each of these areas. It’s a good way to get ‘best in class’ for each element, which ultimately could lead to better outcomes for members. It requires strong oversight to pull it off well, but we think it’s a wise move towards better outcomes.

We’ve given it a lot of thought and would be happy to bounce ideas if this is an approach you’re considering.

Mark Lecompte, our CEO - A targeted approach to data

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