What pensions dashboards announcement means

by | Mar 26, 2024

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Pensions minister Paul Maynard has announced the publication of new guidance setting out a staged timetable for connection by pensions providers to the pensions dashboard. 

In March 2023, then pensions minister Laura Trott announced a reset of the dashboard programme schedule, with an update in June 2023, which set out a mandatory connection deadline of 31 October 2026. However, the minister said the Dashboards Available Point, the point at which dashboards will be accessible to the public, could be earlier than this time frame. 

In his statement Maynard said: “Subject to satisfactory testing, the programme plans to begin the process of connecting the organisations building a direct connection, including DWP State Pension, from August 2024. Connection testing will then continue to ensure readiness to support wider industry connection from early 2025.

 
 

“This will help smooth the process of connecting the approximately 3,000 pension schemes and providers in scope by the connection deadline of 31 October 2026.”

The timetable prioritises connection of the largest pension schemes and providers, to enable user testing to quickly take place at scale, with the first cohort expected to have completed connection by the end of April 2025. 

The minister said while the timetable is not mandatory, it is a legal requirement that trustees or managers of occupational pension schemes and providers of personal and stakeholder pensions “have regard to this guidance”.

 
 

Commenting on the announcement Anthony Rafferty, CEO, Origo, said: “The pensions minister’s announcement creates renewed emphasis for pension providers to have their data preparation underway and their solution for connection to the PDP central architecture chosen or in advance stages of being planned, so as not to risk missing their allotted deadline.  

“The industry is predicted to receive millions of requests for pensions data when dashboards are fully live. Providers therefore need to be ‘dashboard ready’, with a robust and scalable service which can securely and compliantly handle their pension dashboard processing requirements. All of which must be in place in enough time to connect to the central digital architecture, to ensure a smooth, well tested process ahead of their deadline.

“Also, in practice, pension providers and schemes will receive multiple fields of data from the Dashboard and will match it with their records. Where there is a partial match, for example where the surname, date of birth and postcode match but the national insurance number is different, providers need a reliable process in place to help deal with it.” 

 
 

“Providers can connect directly to the dashboard but that requires considerable internal resource and most providers will be looking to connect via an Integrated Service Provider such as the Origo Dashboard Connector.

“The ODC service helps firms, schemes and administrators to connect to the ecosystem, enable find and view services and meet all PDP and regulatory service level and reporting requirements as a Fully Managed Service.

“Pensions dashboards are a big step in giving consumers vital information on their pensions, with which they can make better informed decisions on their retirement planning. As an organisation seeped in the project from the start, we can’t wait to see the first dashboards live and taking requests. For some individuals it could be life changing.”  

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