WPC seeks assurances over member communication barriers

The Work and Pensions Committee (WPC) has written to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DDCMS) seeking assurances that the department is considering the ‘important issue’ of pension schemes feeling restricted in their ability to communicate with members.

During its Saving for Later Life inquiry, the WPC heard evidence that pension schemes felt restricted in their ability to communicate helpful information to their members.

One reason for this was the challenges they faces in trying to balance the requirements of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 with guidance from The Pensions Regulator on good communications with scheme members.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) was one of the schemes that contacted the WPC to say this had impacted its ability to communicate with members and to maximise the benefits of investment in the scheme website, member portal and online functionality.

It noted that auto-enrolment made getting marketing consent from members at the point of joining “more difficult”, but also made communication particularly important.

The USS trustees voiced their support of a proposal in the DDCMS consultation, Data: a new direction, to extend the ‘soft opt in’ and for it to specifically cover information gathered through auto-enrolment.

The WPC said that it would be grateful if the department could assure it that this issue was being considered as the DDCMS formulates its response to the consultation.

The DDCMS has been contacted by Pensions Age for comment.

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