Survey reveals concerns over PPF transition from D&B to Experian risk rating

Our 2014 Pension Protection Fund (PPF) Levy survey has found that 90% of respondents are either worried or very concerned about the likelihood of companies successfully correcting errors or omissions in Experian’s data in time for April 2014, when Experian will replace the PPF’s current rating provider, Dunn & Bradstreet (D&B).

The survey focused on several key PPF issues including the PPF’s transition in 2014 from D&B to Experian, the increase in the benefits cap for longer serving members and the D&B failure scores.  Survey respondents included trustees, employers, independent trustees and advisors.

Results from the survey also revealed that:

  • Almost half (48%) of respondents support the increase in the benefits cap for longer serving scheme members, while 28% do not support the increase.
  • 55% of respondents disagreed with the concept of an increase in the benefits cap being subsidised by lower benefits for other members whilst only 25% agreed.
  • Almost half of the trustees and employers that responded (49%) disagreed or strongly disagreed when asked if their company’s D&B score accurately reflected the risk of it becoming insolvent in the next 12 months.
  • Many respondents thought that the current model used by D&B is too rigid. 64% said they would be happy for Experian to apply greater levels of judgement in adjusting the failure score calculated using its standard model provided there was a transparent process for agreeing these bespoke changes.
  • Over 60% of respondents complained that the trade payment data information held by D&B incorrectly influenced their company’s failure score.

Our latest PPF survey findings highlight the real concerns that trustees, employers and advisors have about the upcoming shift from D&B to Experian’s credit rating service.  There will be winners and losers from the change in rating provider but it is vital that companies act now to address any holes in their Experian data to ensure they are accurately rated and avoid an unjustified hike in their PPF levy.