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Do You Know Your Data Dates?

02 October 2018

Cast your mind back to the seventies.

It may seem like a lifetime ago, but legislative events from this decade are still impacting on the pensions world today, and particularly how we deal with data. So, with a GMP equalisation ruling finally likely over the coming months, we look back at how we got to this point in time. 

  • Thanks to the Social Security Act 1973, in 1975 a requirement was put in place for benefits to be “preserved” for early leavers.
  • In 1978, the Social Security Pensions Act 1975 brought in “contracting out” of SERPS subject to GMP. 
  • In 1984, the Data Protection Act was set up to regulate automatically processed information on people. 
  • By 1986, the Social Security Pension Act 1985 had introduced a revaluation of preserved benefits, rights to a transfer value, disclosure rights and age limit removal on preservation.
  • The Barber judgement in 1990 required pension benefits for men and women to be equal for all work on or after 17 May 1990, and equalised upwards for the time between 17 May 1990 and the date of equalisation.
  • In 1991, the Social Security Act 1990 extended revaluation for leavers, capped at 5% RPI (LPI).
  • The Pensions Act 1995 introduced a requirement for a minimum level of pension increases in line with RPI up to 5% each year for all pension benefits earned after 6 April 1997.
  • Implemented in 1996, the Pensions Act 1995 also gave the courts power to split pension rights between husband and wife.
  • In 1998, the updated Data Protection Act outlined statutory requirements around the handling and protection of personal data.
  • Sharing of pension rights for divorcing couples was put in place by the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act in 1999. 
  • 2004 was a big year in pensions. The Pensions Act allowed schemes to reduce the cap on pension in payment increases to the lower of 2.5% or RPI each year.
  • Due to the Finance Act, the earliest age members could retire was changed from 50 to 55 for people retiring after 6 April 2010.  
  • Schemes were allowed to let members continue working and draw their pension.
  • Earnings caps were abolished from 6 April 2006, meaning schemes could retain the limit in their own schemes.
  • The Pensions Act 2008 introduced new phased-in automatic enrolment pension duties for employers. It reduced the rate of revaluation for some deferred benefits to RPI/CPI, subject to a maximum of 2.5%.
  • In 2011, the Pensions Act accelerated the raising of the state pension age to 66…
  • …and in 2014 that was increased to 67.
  • In the same year, contracting out was abolished with effect from 6 April 2016.
  • By 2015, the Pension Schemes Act introduced more flexibility, including opportunities to take UFPLS or drawdown. 
  • In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became enforceable, ensuring stricter rules around the collection, storage and transfer of people’s data. 

All these dates have monumentally impacted how the industry deals with pensions data, and more changes are likely in the not-too-distant future. That’s one of the many reasons why it’s important to have your scheme’s data up-to-date, so it can be easily adapted to new legislative changes. 

To get more information on the history of pensions, why not take a look at our infographic timeline?

If you would like more information on how to maintain your scheme administration, then please speak to one of our team of experts today by completing the form below.