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UK regulator cracks down on data irregularities with seven investigations

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The UK regulator is to launch an investigation into seven pension schemes over mass irregularities in their member data, as the body moves forward with its push to rid the industry of poor data.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has been working on its push for better member data in UK schemes since 2010, when it introduced strict requirements on quality.

In June 2010, the requirements laid down gave schemes two and a half years to have 95% accuracy for past common data, which include member names, addresses and dates of birth, and 100% accuracy for any data collected from that point onwards.

Since the deadline passed at the end of 2012, the regulator has been investigating the industry to see whether its requirements have been met.

It began a thematic review in the middle of last year, which involved an in-depth investigation into 237 of the UK’s most vulnerable schemes, to test the extent of which they had adhered to its requirements.

With its findings expected to be published later this month, the regulator announced it has launched investigations into seven of the schemes it reviewed.

In its thematic review, the regulator said it found 201 examples of good member data, and gave strong recommendations to a further 29 schemes on how to improve.

With the seven schemes, however, it said it encountered a lack of engagement in its review, examples of trustees “passing the buck” on data quality and a significant impact on members.

However, it said it also found examples of schemes building in risk management tools for poor member data, and cost-effective ways of keeping member data up-to-date.

In its full review findings, the regulator will lay out to the industry how well schemes have taken on board the strict requirements brought in.

It also confirmed the thematic review undertaken in 2013 was not a one-off, with another procedure taking place later this year.

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