“Always willing to get involved and move things forward.”
“Kathy, may l take this opportunity to thank you for your assistance. There were many times l thought l was losing my mind during my efforts with Aviva. You were a pillar of support for me and you saw my case through to the very end. I cannot thank you enough but thank you again. It is through people like you who strive for professional fairness as well as thoroughness, HCA has such a good reputation.”
“Claire offers a very approachable, professional and balanced service, recognising her obligations to the Scheme but providing an awareness of the Employer's perspective. We value Claire's wider industry knowledge and the experience she brings.”
“The work that has been done has been delivered beyond expectations.”
“Competent, friendly and very helpful.”
“Good, helpful guidance.”
The data sharing code of practice laid before parliament in May 2021 is now in force. The code is a practical guide on sharing data lawfully and in a fair, simple, transparent way. All pension trustees as data controllers, whether lay or professional, need to be aware of the new code and requirements when sharing data to or from third parties. Read on for everything trustees need to know…
What data can be shared under the code?
The code covers the sharing of personal data between organisations that are data controllers. The code does not cover sharing data with data processors, as they have their own duties to comply with.
For pension trustees, it is normal practice to share personal member data with joint data controllers such as the employer/sponsor and scheme actuary, subject to having data sharing agreements in place. The code sets out the requirements of sharing data with a third party by whatever means including transmission, dissemination or otherwise making it available. The scope of the code is wide and could easily catch trustees out.
A one-way or reciprocal exchange of data between organisations is caught by the code, whether this is a one-off exchange or a routine exchange carried out on a regular basis. However, the code only applies to sharing personal data. If the data being shared does not identify anyone (e.g. membership statistics only) then it is not covered by the code. However, care needs to be taken when personal data is anonymised or pseudonymised prior to being shared. This is still likely to be caught by the code if an individual can be identified when combined with other data.
Things pension trustees should consider before sharing data:
As a trustee, have you followed the key principles of data protection prior to sharing data?
If in doubt, don’t risk it
As professional trustees, we are increasingly vigilant about the data we share with other organisations and fully support the code. The key question to ask is “is it necessary to share personal member data?”. Often, the answer is no. But, if the answer is yes, you need to ask “how can I do so securely, proportionately and in compliance with the code and the Data Protection Act 2018?”.
The risk of non-compliance to member security is huge, as is the potential for reputational damage and financial penalties in the event of a data breach. Summed up, pension trustees should remind themselves “if in doubt, don’t risk it”.
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