Personalizing engagement through dashboards, raising standards in investment management through consolidation and improving the quality of data stored by record keepers and pension administrators is going to be key to boosting retirement outcomes of plan participants as the industry enters the next decade, speakers agreed during a panel discussion Oct. 16 at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association annual autumn conference in Manchester, England.
Margaret Snowdon, president of the Pensions Administration Standards Association, said the association welcomed the progress made by record keepers and administrators to improve data such as the usage of biometric data and an increased usage of web portals to supply participants with information about their retirement savings.
But Ms. Snowdon said record keepers are "30% behind other types of players in the investment management market in terms of the speed of change."
"Administrators will need to spend £25 million ($32 million) in the next four years on data to make dashboards good enough," Ms. Snowdon added. Dashboards, which will be launched under the new Pension Schemes Bill announced Oct. 14 but have yet to be passed by the U.K. Parliament, are online tools that store and display personalized information about savings and contributions in multiple plans and state pension benefits.
"Increasingly, people don't know what is quality data and what isn't," Ms. Snowdon said.
Because retirement fund administrators are a target of outside web attacks, "cybersecurity is a concern for them," Ms. Snowdon said. However, "human factor is the biggest single risk," she added.
"Executives need to understand their responsibility," Ms. Snowdon said.
Appearing on the same panel, Helen Dean, CEO of the £6.9 billion NEST Corp., London, said: "We will need a lot of progress so that we can deliver the dashboard. The issue of data is really fundamental and we should not be too quick to deliver the dashboard."
Bill Galvin, group CEO of the £67.4 billion Universities Superannuation Scheme, London, said the consolidation of the retirement industry in the U.K. is changing the dynamics between the organizations.
"With that comes increasing responsibility to put the member at the forefront of the organization" in terms of the organization's objectives, he said. "Consolidation is coming, and it has got to be used by the retirement organizations to get market power."