Far from being a moment to take our foot off the pedal, this is a chance to make the pension dashboards experience even better for savers.
From the conversations we’ve had with our clients, many schemes feel confident that they are on track to meet the dashboards deadlines as they originally stood. But even if you are in that position, this delay provides the chance to think about some of the areas you may not yet have had time to consider.
Here are the five areas we suggest you should look at:
Everyone talks at length about getting the data in place when it comes to dashboards. That’s because accurate data is the foundation on which everything else is built, and it is what will drive saver confidence in pensions dashboards.
Schemes may have done lots of great work already to get their data clean and ready. One way to iron out any remaining pitfalls is to dig into less straightforward saver situations and any past administration practices which could pose issues. For example, savers who have paid Additional Voluntary Contributions, been through a divorce, or left a company and then returned to it may have slightly more complicated data requirements.
International companies could also find themselves in more complicated waters. Savers may hold benefits in different currencies, or they may have been seconded to the UK and not have National Insurance numbers, but still have accrued pension savings in the UK that need to be displayed on dashboards.
Schemes should work with their administrators and advisers to understand these situations and know which may apply to them. Once that work is complete, schemes can design their dashboards solution to make sure that saver information is presented clearly and in the most relevant way.
While data forms the foundation of the dashboards, it’s important to emphasise that the project is about so much more than that. First and foremost, dashboards are about saver engagement.
As a scheme manager or trustee, you may have been deeply immersed in the dashboards project for months. Take the opportunity to take a step back and look at what savers will see. Will it make sense? What could you do to make the most of any information and help you already provide? Which brings us to…
Many trustees and pension scheme managers have been so busy getting to grips with the technical side of dashboards that they have had less time to think about their communication strategies. Now is a great moment to plan your communications campaign and to think about how to get the message out about dashboards.
One idea you may not have considered is producing an FAQ document. Once dashboards are ‘live’, schemes are likely to get lots of questions, and anticipating the questions members will ask, and being ready to answer them, could reduce the demand on the scheme administrator as well as ensuring savers get clear and consistent messaging
Dashboards will be the newest part of the digital solution for your pension scheme savers. You may not yet have had time to think about how dashboards fit within the bigger picture of what you currently offer, from pension communications to benefits portals. This is your chance.
What could you do to make dashboards integrate with your scheme’s existing digital journey? Understanding the end-to-end saver experience is the first step in designing the right digital journey for your members.
Many schemes have been rightly focused on getting their data in order, ahead of connecting to the dashboards. Making sure the connection works, so that members’ data slots into the ecosystem, is the next step. You could use this extra time to work with your administrator to ensure that all will go smoothly once it’s possible to get connected.
The dashboards project is a lot of work, but if trustees and their administrators plan thoroughly, work collaboratively and keep members at the heart of decisions, the result will be much greater engagement in pensions.
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