The national procurement frameworks for the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) has been expanded to include member data services.
The move is aimed at helping funds easily access reliable and good value services in order to improve and maintain the quality of member records.
It comes as the LGPS is under increasing pressure to improve data quality under the watch of The Pensions Regulator, which took on oversight for governance of the scheme in 2015. Poor quality data can cause wrong benefits being paid to members, inaccurate assessments and regulatory fines.
The new framework enables LGPS funds and wider public sector schemes purchase a range of data management services including address tracing, correction and mortality screening from a pool of tested providers.
Four providers have been appointed: Accurate Data Services, GB Group, JLT Employee Benefits, and Target Professional Services.
It has been developed by several LGPS funds including Bedfordshire, London Borough of Hackney, Lothian, Norfolk, Merseyside and West Midlands. It was supported by the National LGPS Frameworks team, with specialist legal and procurement advice given by Norfolk County Council.
Norfolk Pension Fund head and chairwoman of the National LGPS Frameworks collaboration Nicola Mark said: "Data quality is quite rightly high on the agenda of all LGPS Funds, so this very timely framework is just what we need in our arsenal to make scheme administrators lives a little easier. It should benefit all funds who make use of it, and in turn, improve outcomes for scheme members and employers."
The procurement frameworks already include a wide range of services including legal, actuarial, consultancy, investment management, transition management, among others.
They were created to help LGPS funds get better prices while still making local decisions about service requirements. According to the frameworks, the LGPS is collectively benefiting from more than £98m in savings as a result of the programme.
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