I have just had the pleasure of reading Jasmine Urquhart‘s excellent account of Kim Gubler’s address to the PASA admin and data forum yesterday.
In summary Gubler called for
- Administrators to step up to the plate and get heard
- Trustees to stop valuing admin by price rather than quality
- Trustees and managers keeping admin in the loop when embarking on projects
- Having good admin should be considered a fiduciary duty
- Schemes should not take the foot off the pedal because of delays in dashboard delivery
- Administrators should not not be marginalized to “projects” but should be strategic to the scheme
- Schemes should consider admin problems individually and not shoot admin for being the messenger
- Administrators should be involved in planning – having key input into cost/benefit analysis
- Schemes should accept standardization and simplification as a positive, listening to admin’s views on how this is achieved
- Schemes should be open and honest with administrators, telling them when they have concerns
Gubler called for admin to be the key focus of 2023 and she’s right. Whether a workplace pension is preparing to be bought out by an insurer (or superfund) , preparing for the pension dashboard or simply in the business of paying claims in an accurate and timely fashion, data must be in order.
Good admin has often been seen as a given, typically by people who do not have to do it.
But it’s not, as Kim Gubler’s address is at pains to point out. I am arguing in AgeWage’s consultation response to the DWP that distinguishing good from bad record keeping is a key metric for its VFM consultation into measures of value.
To this end, AgeWage has developed a diagnostic service that can be used to cheaply and quickly established whether the contribution data your scheme keeps for its members meets a basic threshold which could be established by PASA or by the Government or by both.
The diagnostic requires the upload of data onto our analytics platform and as I am keen to demonstrate to the DWP just how easy it is to diagnose good or bad, I’m prepared to offer a free diagnosis to the first three organizations who want theirs’s tested.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
To achieve Kim’s vision, we need to put saver’s first, and the quality of their data should be the heart of any assessment of the value of the service paid for.
When the saver is paying for the service through their AMC, then administration really is a matter of value for their money.
Ultimately, the VFM framework will be how schemes will be judged, not just by regulators and employers, but by the people paying for the service they get.
And critically, good admin is central to our duty to the consumer. Whether our regulator is the FCA or TPR we need to put the saver at the heart of what we do. No one understands that better than Kim Gubler.