Witten by Kate Smith, Head of Pensions at Aegon
After a few days of turmoil it’s good to know that the government is 100 percent committed to making pensions dashboards happen at the earliest opportunity.
These will be a real game changer for savers, helping them to reconnect with their pensions, by seeing them all in one place online, and improving pension engagement.
It’s important that everything is in place before schemes and providers begin to connect to the pensions dashboards ecosystem, so there’s still a lot of work to be done. Now that the government has responded after its consultation, the pensions dashboards programme can consult on its connection standards, which will be published imminently. We’re also expecting more consultation from both the FCA and Pensions Regulator.
The connection timetable is extremely ambitious, especially for the first staging cohort of the largest pension schemes, due to connect between April and June 2023. We’re pleased that the DWP has listened to the industry‘s concerns and agreed to extend the first staging connection time from three to five months. This means that the largest master trust now have a staging window of 1 April 2023 to 31 August.
This gives additional valuable time for master trusts to get ready to connect, making sure everything is in order. We’re hoping that he FCA will follow suite once they respond to their consultation setting out the timeline and requirements for providers of contract-based schemes.
We’re also pleased that there is recognition from the government and regulators that connecting to pensions dashboards will be a steep learning curve for all involved, and that the regulatory approach will reflect this.