We are creating a prototype, suitable for use with the UK’s Pensions Dashboard project.
I had occasion to look through the recent accounts of a sample of UK charities yesterday and was quite surprised to find that:
- some charities (e.g. Blind Veterans UK and NSPCC) still seem to be exposed to significant financial risk from their defined benefit (DB) pension plans. (See the chart above – the three charities at the end don’t seem to have DB pension plans or have immunised themselves against this risk).
- the cost of raising funds seems to vary quite a lot across the charities I looked at, ranging from almost a quarter (24%) of income (Woodland Trust), to about a fifth of that (5%, Barnados). (See chart below).
Proposed First Draft
I’ve now completed a first draft of a proposed standard, as a Microsoft Excel file (118kB, so quite small). You can download it here. Comments/criticisms most welcome. Let’s make this happen!
Why Microsoft Excel?
I’ve chosen to put it in an Excel file (as opposed to CSV or other non proprietary formats) for the moment because Excel offers the following advantages:
- we can put several different worksheets/tables in a single file
- field headings can have explanatory comments
- I’ve using colour coding to visually group similar fields.
(Posted by Patrick Lee on 14 August 2017 at a different location, but migrated here on 05 Feb 2018).
I’ve just watched several videos and read a good article on the Semantic Web (also called Linked Data and Web 3.0, in which not just humans but computers can understand content) by Brian Sletten. It would be good for the pensions and insurance industry to play its part in helping the web move towards 3.0 (something that will have even more of an impact than Web 1.0 did in about 1998, and Web 2.0 – the advent of social media which enabled everyone to connect and become a publisher – in about 2008) and I will be writing more about this soon.
(Posted by Patrick Lee on 8 August 2017 at a different location, but migrated here on 05 Feb 2018).
I have long thought it would be useful for there to be a standard format for exchange of data files for DB (Defined Benefit, i.e. final salary or career average revalued) pension plans, at least in the UK initially.
This would make it easier for pension plans to share information (with actuarial consultants, but also other advisers e.g. buyout companies, investment analysts), not just in mergers and acquisitions, but also in risk transfers (longevity, or pensions buyouts) and would improve the comparability of analysis across companies by investors etc. It should also reduce costs for trustees and plan sponsors, and may increase the quality of the data held.