PAPDIS Pioneers Prove the Possibilities at Portcullis House

17 November 2014


17 November 2014: At the Pensions BIB meeting that took place at Portcullis House, an early adopter of the Pensions and Payroll Data Interface Standard (PAPDIS), has proven the possibilities of using PAPDIS to drive much-needed efficiencies into the automatic enrolment market.

Pensions BIB (an amalgam of leading pensions and payroll trade bodies) has been meeting regularly to help solve the data interface challenge facing the Pensions Automatic Enrolment market and at this latest meeting a video was shown that demonstrated how Friendly Pensions Ltd is already able to efficiently accept payroll data in the PAPDIS format, thereby proving how data can be transferred from payroll into pensions through the new standard.

PAPDIS, created by Pensions BIB, was launched at the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals’ Capacity Crunch Conference with Richard Graham MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pensions in attendance. Within just a week Able Internet Payroll and Friendly Pensions Ltd had successfully deployed PAPDIS.

The PAPDIS story goes back to November 2013 when the Department for Work and Pensions and The Pensions Regulator led a meeting, entitled “Barriers to the Success of Pensions Auto Enrolment”, with a view to identifying issues that had the potential to jeopardize the success of AE.

Those present concluded that the success of AE was sensitive to the market’s ability to safely, efficiently and routinely transfer vast quantities of data from payroll to pensions, and that having a free and open data standard for AE was a pre-requisite for there to be an efficient, low-cost AE market.

Andy Agathangelou, Founding Chair of the CIPP’s Friends of Automatic Enrolment (who hosted the event) and also Chair of Pensions BIB comments: “PAPDIS is a much-needed driver of efficiency in the AE market. Dozens of organisations have worked collaboratively to create it. We are now in a position to report some useful market insights as 59 PAPDIS Packs have already been requested and our stats clearly show the top 3 reasons why PAPDIS is wanted to be:-

#1, to enable more streamlined and straightforward transfer of data from payroll to pensions (27%)

#2, to make the administration of AE easier (25%)

#3, to reduce the need to maintain a multiplicity of file formats (15%)

Juan Ho, Director at Able Internet Payroll explains “PAPDIS has been very well designed – it recognises what payroll needs and is straightforward to work with. It will help us look after our clients efficiently and profitably, and that is precisely what we want to do.”

Lindsay Melvin, Chief Executive at the CIPP affirms that “As the UK’s Chartered Institute for Payroll Professionals we know that our members are at the very epicentre of AE, playing a vital part in helping employers meet their duties. Many SMEs and Micros will struggle to cope with the data management and data transfer challenges they face, because of the complexity of the rules. PAPDIS will ease their administrative burden. It is therefore excellent that many market participants, from pensions and payroll, have been working collaboratively to create PAPDIS and the CIPP is pleased to have been directly involved, representing the interest of our members.”

Pauline Green, Associate Product Manager at Intuit comments that “Intuit believe PAPDIS is critical to the success of auto enrolment as a whole and will provide the best possible experience for our small business and accountant customers. Small business owners will not be able to pay for bespoke interfaces, nor do they have separate departments who can fully manage the auto enrolment process for them.”

Henry Tapper, Editor at The Pensions PlayPen, Director at First Actuarial LLP and National Head of Campaigns at both Friends of AE and Pensions BIB states that “We plan to improve the "Payroll Integration" rating for Pension Providers who make the effort to adopt PAPDIS as we know that is what payroll want and it will help to create a more efficient market.”

Dawn Jackson, Payroll Product Manager for Access Group, commented, “PAPDIS is now an integral part of our payroll solutions here at Access because it will make life easier for us and our customers. It cuts out the need for manual file creation and that has to be a good thing.”

Neil Esslemont, Head of Industry Liaison at The pensions Regulator explained that The Pensions Regulator is keen to encourage the development of products which will help employers meet their automatic enrolment duties. Employers will welcome standards such as this, which will allow the streamlined transfer of data between employers and pension providers to be handled in a standard way – and has the potential to increase the range of employer choice, if more payroll systems can communicate with more pension providers.”

Chris Deeson, Director at Deeson Coronella Ltd explained that “PAPDIS is exciting because it makes the building of Data Integration Platforms a realistic possibility, allowing for the risk-free, automated transfer of data between payroll, pensions and middleware for the first time. The need for error management will be hugely reduced and the widely-predicted contraction of the pension market will not need to happen as pension providers will experiencesignificantly reduced operating costs. At the same time, there will be savings of hundreds of millions of pounds in the bureaux and book-keeping industries.”

Will Lovegrove, CEO at SystemSync Solutions’ view is that "PAPDIS is important because it unifies the Payroll Software companies behind a single common free data interface. That in turn makes the possibility of automated data transfer between Payroll, Middleware and Pension Providers a reality. My company supports PAPDIS because we believe that seamless data integration with Pensions companies is critical to the future success of AE. The automation of routine data tasks reduces errors, saves effort, lowers costs and allows everyone involved to refocus on more worthy business challenges".

The Pensions BIB meeting was followed by a separate meeting, The Pensions Regulator and Department for Work and Pensions’ Software Forum, where some 50 market participants including representatives from major pension providers, payroll organisations and employee benefit consultancies gathered to discuss the issues and possibilities around data standards for the AE market.

Agathangelou, again: “Pension providers would obviously much rather receive data from payroll in a standard format. PAPDIS enables that, and thereby drives down operating costs whilst boosting market capacity; the market needs both to happen. Now the adoption of PAPDIS has begun, we urge pensions and payroll to rally behind this movement for the benefit of all.”

To register to receive a free PAPDIS Pack please contact [email protected]