If you are a pension trustee or someone running a public service scheme you should regularly review the quality of your scheme data. This will help you to spot if you need to improve your record-keeping.
You should also ask your administrator to calculate your common and scheme-specific data scores. This will tell you what percentage of members have full and accurate data. You must send us the scheme’s data scores in every scheme return.
When to measure data
We expect you to review scheme data at least once a year. You should have a data review process in place to help you do this.
You may need to run extra reviews if major events take place, such as winding up the scheme or changing your administrator or admin system.
How to measure data
Ask your administrator to confirm that data is present and accurate. This includes giving you scores for common data and scheme-specific data.
You need to be confident that your administrator has processes and controls to make sure that data is of a good standard.
Talk to your administrator to understand their quality controls. These might include:
- checking there is data in all the fields you expect
- checking data items are consistent with each other, eg the date a member joined the scheme is later than their date of birth and before the date they expect to retire
- checking data items are in a valid format, eg the two-letter prefix of the National Insurance number matches the ones that HMRC uses
- having specific processes, eg checking a member’s date of birth against their birth certificate when benefits are taken
Your administrator should update you regularly on the results of their quality controls. If they find any key data types are missing or probably incorrect, they need to verify them with the relevant member or employer.
Submit data scores to us
You must send us the scheme’s data scores in each scheme return. Make sure you or your administrator have included them.
Your data score is the percentage of members in the scheme that you have full and accurate data for. You need separate scores for common data and scheme-specific data.
A data review of a scheme with 100 members shows that 40 addresses are missing but the rest of the data is present and accurate. The common data score is 60% as 60 members have full and accurate common data.
If a data review of the same scheme shows that 40 members have at least one scheme-specific data item missing, the scheme-specific data score is also 60%.
Review data reports
The data reports you receive from your administrator should contain all the information you need to understand the quality of your data and identify if there are issues which need to be addressed.
You should use the reports and your risk register to discuss record-keeping regularly at board meetings and inform decision making.
Where issues with data have been identified, you should agree priorities and actions with administrators to improve your scheme data.