- KPMG’s “KLean” data quality tool reveals the most common error in occupational pensions scheme member records is missing entries in members’ National Insurance history – occurring in over 20 percent of cases analysed
- Guaranteed minimum pension figure missing in a sixth of cases
- Such errors can increase fund liabilities by up to 5 percent, says KPMG
Using its KLean data quality tool, KPMG has analysed over 100,000 occupational pension scheme member record to reveal some worrying findings.
The most common failing was that a third of records were missing entries in the member’s National Insurance records (22% missing some entries and 12% missing the complete history). Other “top 10” errors include missing guaranteed minimum pension* figures (17%), a retirement date that is not consistent with the member’s expected retirement age (13%), missing contributions (6%) and salary data completely missing (5%). Bizarrely, some 6 % of members were recorded as leaving the scheme on or even before the date they were recorded as having joined it.
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According to KPMG, these failings do not only mean that members may be paid the wrong benefits; incomplete data or inaccurate records add to scheme administration costs and can even increase fund liabilities by as much as 5 percent. With the growing trend for trustees and sponsors to consider “buying out” some or all of their liabilities, any doubt over the quality of the scheme data can add greatly to the buy-out cost.
KPMG Partner Roger Higgins said: “These findings show that many schemes still have a long way to go in meeting the Pensions Regulator’s data quality targets. Even where data errors are found, it is not always easy to correct them. This is where KLean is particularly useful, as it doesn’t just identify the errors, it can help prioritise the missing data items and produces a top 10 of the most significant missing items.”
He concluded: “Faulty pensions data has long been a recognised problem. However, until the Pensions Regulator’s recent campaign, there was little impetus for action, and until KLean there was little by way of an independent means to determine data quality. Increasingly trustees are now asking us to help them make radical improvements to their member data records”
Notes for editors
The Pensions Regulator (tPR) issued guidance in June 2010 setting targets to trustees on minimum data quality standards and record keeping. It advises all trustees to review and, where necessary, improve their schemes’ member data and to maintain accurate records. Its 2011 scheme record keeping survey (published 12 April 2011) highlights growing awareness of data quality issues amongst trustees but shows that a third have still not introduced processes to measure common scheme data.
KLean is a data quality testing service with over 100 tests including the majority of those listed by the Pensions Regulator. A KLean engagement reviews scheme data and identifies information gaps and anomalies. KLean’s tests include basic data checks such as incompatible retirement and birth dates, as well as more complex items such as ‘spurious’ National Insurance numbers and ‘unusual’ dates. Tests can also be customised to address any scheme or member specific issues. Where remedial action is required, Klean can facilitate updates using both public and private information sources to resolve data deficiencies and improve data quality.
For further information please contact:
Margot Cowhig, KPMG Corporate Communications
Tel: 0207 694 4246 Mobile: 07920 274856: email@example.com
KPMG Press Office: 0207 694 8773
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with nearly 11,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.6 billion in the year ended September 2010. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 150 countries and have more than 138,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.