The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will inform the industry this summer about what sort of data should be included in scheme returns from next year.
At a Pensions Management Institute (PMI) administration seminar on 20 March, TPR policy manager Louise Sivyer explained the watchdog wants everyone to understand what is required of them well in advance.
From 2018 it will be mandatory for scheme returns to include common and conditional data scores. Common data is used to identify members while conditional data is scheme specific data to calculate member benefits.
This will hit the first defined benefit (DB) schemes from January 2018 and the first DC schemes from July 2018.
Sivyer said: "As a rule when questions are added to the scheme return we send out communications a couple of months in advance to say what exactly those are so schemes can prepare.
"We would hope to do that during the summer and will be providing more clarity on what we expect schemes to be doing even if we have not got exact wording for the questions [to be included in the scheme returns] at that time those communications are sent out."
Two areas of data standards the regulator wants to see movement on are conditional data and the pension dashboard. "Conditional data is not well understood and we [the regulator] want to provide any clarification of that in the context of data standards introduced for the dashboard. We see issues around the dashboard as part of broader questions about data standards generally speaking," Sivyer continued.
TPR has taken a more assertive line on data standards over the past few months.Last December it said trustees were not taking record keeping duties seriously soit would raise standards by getting tougher on schemes in their returns.
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