Trustees don't deny the positive role digital apps and web portals can play in encouraging member engagement, but most remain reluctant to invest in them, because they don't believe the desire to engage exists among their members.
High quality data is a cornerstone of any successful digital platform built to deliver personalised information to users. While trustees are very confident that their scheme common data in good shape, our research suggests otherwise. And by their own admission, schemes continue to struggle with issues related to inaccurate data.
Any scheme serious about a move to digitalisation must acknowledge that inaccurate data vastly increases the risk of failure, not only operationally, but in terms of fraud risk.
The forthcoming pensions dashboard presents a unique opportunity for the sector. Working with trusted data specialists, realising "perpetual" data management simultaneously solves the data decay issue and reduces numerous associated security and regulatory risks.
"Holding accurate and up-to-date data, will drive greater engagement and a more positive experience for pension scheme members. Not only will it enable a more customised offering for the individual and a smoother customer journey, but it also helps the scheme to better protect its assets and those of its members," says Alan Clay, Head of Data Strategy at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions.
Cost is an obvious barrier, but if schemes are unwilling to put their hands in their pockets and invest in digital services today, they may find it difficult in future to serve the younger, digitally native, Gen Z, cohort who are now reaching working age and beginning to enrol in DC schemes.
Trustees may be sceptical of the ‘build it and they will come' mantra, but are they missing the bigger picture?