Pension pandemonium within 12 months!



“F*ck the file”

that’s what I say- or what I would say if I wasn’t in an office full of people who live, eat and breathe Excel.

I’d like my office to be file-less within 5 years (make that 5 minutes) – unlikely as we’ve been going paperless for the last decade and still have an industrial size shredder.

My computers are crammed full of data files that I don’t want, don’t need and are just waiting to get stolen. The proper place for all this stuff is in a database and the proper way to get the data from one place to another is not hanging off an email but in a properly encrypted data message passing through an API.

That is probably the most techie paragraph I have ever tried to write so give me a break if you do data management as a job. All I do is take payroll data, analyse it and then send it on to a pension provider so it becomes pension data. The problem

All the right notes, just not in the right order

I’m forever being told that someone should have had some foresight and we should be working to common data standards, But we’re not. All the pension providers won’t their notes in their order and all the payroll providers have to learn a few dozen versions of the same song and remember which one to play each time they press the send button.

This is good for jobs as it keeps hundreds of data managers/cleansers/auditors very busy, but it isn’t good for the relationship between payroll and pension people and it’s bloody awful for bosses being presented with bills for data management from nefarious organisations collectively flogging “middleware” who exist because of the inability  of the strategists to get it right first time!

Which is why we have these flippin files bunging up our computers.

Which is why we need some seriously disruptive technology which allows the free-flow of data securely between those who payroll and HR databases, the machines that need to analyse that data and the pension databases that keep track of people’s rights to money later in life.

“Disruptive”, because the status quo involves manual intervention and has worked very well for thirty years precisely because everyone stood to gain by manual intervention.

But life is different now. If you are reading this and are a big boss, you’ll know what auto-enrolment is like. If you are reading this and you are a small boss, you will have a letter from the Pension Regulator in some filing tray (or bin) telling you that sometime soon you will have to pay money into a pension pot for all your workers.

And if you think worker =employee , think again, worker means anyone you pay regularly enough they can claim they work for you.

Which adds up to you either being already a victim of auto-enrolment (lack of) technology, or you’re about to be.

Unless that is , some systems superman comes to your rescue. And he or she had better come fast. In the first quarter of next year, more pension schemes will be set up in this country than have been set up in the 100 previous years – infact ever!

So huge is the influx of employers into the pension system, that without technological disruption we are going to have pension pandemonium.

If you want to find out what I am going on about, then follow and or give the Pension Plowman a call on 07785 377768.

Here’s that Morecambe and Wise clip in case you’ve not seen it for a few days.


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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