Building a strong foundation for the delivery of the solution to our customers
Last week our status as an alpha provider in the Pensions Dashboards Programme's test phase was announced. In this post, Colin Lewis provides an overview of the Programme and how our input will build a strong foundation for the delivery of the solution to our customers.
Coming to a Screen Near You in 2023
Not the latest Hollywood blockbuster but something that has been in pre-production for over 20 years… the UK Pensions Dashboards. During that time eight national pension dashboards have been launched in Europe. That said, since 2019 there has been a clear timeline for the delivery of the UK national pensions dashboard and good progress has been made in terms of mobilisation and planning and we are now close to the build and test phase.
During the start-up phase, the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) focused on the establishment of various working groups: Consumers, Pension providers, Software providers and a Usability working group to feed into various calls for input on:
The establishment of the Usability working group is to ensure that the needs of pensions dashboards users remain at the heart of everything the PDP does and informs the creation of a user-centric service design.
"Pensions dashboards will enable individuals to access their pensions information online, securely and all in one place, thereby supporting better planning for retirement and growing financial wellbeing”
Chris Curry - Principal, Pensions Dashboards Programme
What is a pensions dashboard?
A dashboard will show a user their pensions information online - securely and all in one place. It sounds simple but multiple parties and technical services need to be connected
-in what we’re referring to as an ecosystem- to make dashboards work.
The real complexity with the ecosystem comes from the numbers that it needs to deal with.
If all 40,000 schemes connect directly to the ecosystem, that is not using an ISP, then 1 million individuals logging onto the dashboard would generate a million requests that an administration platform would need to deal with, resulting in 40 billion requests flying round the internet!
Heywood have been members of the software providers working group since June 2020, collaborating with both our partners and competitors in the industry to find the best solution. We have found it very useful in building our knowledge of the Dashboard and being able to provide feedback and influence the data standards, definitions and what the key matching data items should be.
When we did some research using a large data set, we found that using combinations of surname, date of birth and postcode generated unique matches of between 50%-90%; however, when a National Insurance (NI) number was added, the unique match increased to an average of 99%.
However, that is only the unique matches on Altair, when we looked at success rates of matching the data in the employers payroll records to pension records it was comforting to discover that there was a small mismatch rate of 0.5% on the individuals surname or date of birth.
There is still a lot to do in terms of getting your data dashboard ready, including making sure addresses are present and correct and that correct and valid NI Numbers are held.
As a participant in the PDP, Heywood are looking forward to working with our colleagues at MaPS on the test phase as we feed into the design of the 'Find and View' APIs.
The Dashboard will be a success if individuals like you and I find it easy to use and that we see in one place all of our pensions (with signposts to pots we had forgotten about) in a simple, easy to understand format and give us confidence that our estimated retirement income is going to fund our anticipated retirement lifestyle and we can strut that red carpet.
Colin Lewis is Heywood's Managing Director of Employer Services. He is involved in the development and roll-out of pension solutions for Employers participating in Public Service Pension Schemes.