March 2, 2018
From the desk of Mr. David Wiley, IT Information Services at LifeStatus360:
In our industry, data quality is paramount, and your data should be the very best it can be: all missing data elements filled in and correct. According to a Gartner, the average organization loses 8.2 million dollars annually because of poor data quality.
The reason behind providing us with the highest quality data is simple: missing data equates to missing deaths and to loss of contact with your plans’ participants. Both results turn into loss of monies due to overpayments or fines from the Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). As you’ve likely seen:
- The DOL is actively auditing pension plans with “large lists of unpaid participants.”
- The IRS is challenging plans for Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).
- The PBGC is asking if a sponsor has “tried” to pay all benefits prior to transferring the assets to PDBC and looking for documented proof of the process.
These new focuses from governmental agencies create an even more critical need to ensure your data quality is the best it can be.
How to Improve Your Data Quality and Your Results
Want to save some monies? Improve your data quality! Here’s how:
- Missing city, states or zip codes: You are not only missing obituary matching, but you may also be receiving too many “false positives.” The more data you provide, the tighter and more accurate the reporting.
- Missing DOB: This is a required field for Obituary Matching, and without it we will not return an obituary match because there will be too many “false positives.” Additionally, you’ll need a date of birth to conduct proper future pension fund liabilities, which is information your actuarial person should be requesting. What do your demographics look like? How can you be sure? Demographic-related projects could be incorrect.
- What is the date of the last address update? You could lose contact with your participants, leading to uncashed checks and unsigned documents.
- Missing contact information: Don’t lose contact! In today’s digital world, there are multiple methods to maintain contact.
- Missing relatives: Who are the backup contacts just in case you lose contact with your participants?
Let LifeStatus360 Help You Improve Your Data Quality
At LifeStatus360, we can help you clean up your data, fill in the blanks, give you the missing data and apply all those efforts into monitoring your population for deaths or helping you stay in contact with your current population. We understand that at the very least, you’re going to need a yearly check-up on your plan participants; we recommend that you do, at a minimum, a yearly check-up on your data. Just as ignoring your health can later cost you more money, the same can be said of your data – the longer you ignore it, the more money you’re costing your company. Ignore your data at your own peril.
Here are a few ways to ensure your data is clean, current and complete (C3™):