Record-keeping review findings published by Pensions Regulator

01 April 2014

The Pensions Regulator has opened seven case investigations into scheme record-keeping following its thematic review, and has today published a report detailing the main findings of the review, and actions to improve record-keeping standards.

The regulator found good practice in the industry across a range of scheme types and sizes, but also found areas that caused concern and posed risks to schemes and the payment of members’ benefits. In particular, schemes with lower levels of engagement with their advisers, which tended to be smaller schemes, were less able to demonstrate that they had effectively tackled record-keeping challenges.

The regulator’s executive director for defined contribution (DC), governance and administration Andrew Warwick-Thompson said:

“We’ve opened seven case investigations as a result of our first major review of record-keeping, involving DC and defined benefit (DB) schemes, which may ultimately lead to enforcement action.  Trustees and administrators should really be treating the maintenance of complete and accurate data as business as usual – it underpins the running of the entire scheme and it is only with the right records that they can ensure the right benefits are being paid to the right members at the right time.”

Record-keeping is already an important part of the regulator’s DC code of practice, and schemes should be aware that, with announcements of Government developments on DC quality standards, the end of contracting-out for DB schemes and the reconciliation of Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) records, scheme data remains an ever-important issue.

The review sought to identify whether schemes had met the targets the regulator set for common data (member details common to every scheme such as name, date of birth, National Insurance number), the actions schemes were taking to manage and mitigate errors and gaps in data, and how schemes were managing data as part of their internal controls frameworks.

As part of the review, the regulator worked with trustees and advisers to help them improve standards, and also looked to identify what further steps it may need to take to mitigate record-keeping risks.

View the thematic review of record-keeping report in research and analysis.