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Trustees warned: be prepared – “your pensions dashboards deadline is coming”

Trustees are being warned they must start preparing for their pensions dashboards deadline, as part of a new campaign launched today by The Pensions Regulator.

The “Deadline” campaign comes as TPR’s own research shows trustees have yet to get their preparations sufficiently underway – and are at risk of failing to meet their legal pensions dashboards responsibilities.

To help trustees meet their duties, TPR has today published new guidance based on draft regulations recently consulted on by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Robust and accessible data and failsafe systems are essential to ensuring  pensions dashboards offer savers the information they need to make informed decisions about their retirement savings.

According to TPR research due to be published shortly, 51% of Defined Contribution (DC) schemes and 33% of Defined Benefit (DB) schemes continue to hold at least some member records non-electronically and just 4% of Defined Contribution (DC) schemes and 9% of Defined Benefit (DB) schemes have begun to digitise the information they hold in preparation for pensions dashboards.

In addition, only 37% of DC and DB schemes have discussed pensions dashboards at their scheme’s trustee board meeting, with only a similar proportion having engaged with their administrator about their scheme’s data.

Minister for Pensions Guy Opperman said: “Clear pensions information at the touch of a button will ensure savers are better informed and more engaged and will help people plan more effectively for retirement.

“It’s vital providers are preparing for their introduction and I urge them to take action now if they have not done so already.” 

TPR’s Director of Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice David Fairs warned: “Schemes should be taking action now – their connection deadline is coming. 

“Pensions dashboards are a hugely innovative tool that will enable savers to see their pensions in one place.  It is a crucial step forward in helping savers to get to know their pensions, make good decisions and plan for the retirement they want. 

“In line with our corporate strategy, we embrace innovation and we are committed to making dashboards work so that savers have a complete and accurate picture of their savings.  We know this is a significant undertaking for industry and so we will be rolling out a comprehensive programme of support in the months ahead.”

Mr Fairs added: “Pensions dashboards are coming. Trustees will have legal duties they must be ready for.  We will take a dim view of trustees who carelessly fail to prioritise their dashboard responsibilities.”

Principal of the Pensions Dashboards Programme, Chris Curry called on trustees to ensure they access the information they need to prepare. He said: “This guidance is another important tool to help industry prepare for connection. We know that many still have more to do in preparing their data, setting up the right team and getting ready for dashboards and there is plenty of support out there to help with these tasks.   

“Over the coming months both TPR and the Pensions Dashboards Programme will be providing further information and support on how to prepare for connection and I would encourage everyone to engage as early as possible with this information to help them prepare.” 

The largest schemes are expected to connect to the dashboards system from June next year and TPR will now begin writing to them to alert them to their connection deadline and what they need to do.

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