Consumer protection: how the Pensions Dashboards Programme is working to keep dashboard users safe
David Marjoribanks, Senior Policy Manager at the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP), introduces the work that the programme is undertaking to ensure the security of pensions dashboards, as set out in our consumer protection information.
Pensions dashboards are all about putting the consumer first: they’ll give them access to their own pensions information in one secure place online, at a time of their choosing, potentially reconnecting them with any lost pots, to support retirement planning. PDP was set up to deliver the central digital architecture that will make dashboards possible – and delivering a secure environment that consumers can trust is a vital part of our mission.
Putting the consumer at the heart of developing pensions dashboards means also being mindful of the potential for things that could go wrong, if the necessary measures are not put in place. These could include dashboard users:
- having their personal data misused or stolen
- seeing incorrect information about their pensions
- feeling confused by the information and making detrimental decisions
- being mis-sold to
It’s vital that we identify and mitigate these risks and do what we can to prevent consumer harms. Equally, we need to ensure that consumers have paths to appropriate redress, in the unlikely event that things do go wrong.
We therefore see consumer protection as central to our work.
That’s why today we’ve published new consumer protection pages on our website, which sets out our view of consumer protection for pensions dashboards, the risks that need to be considered, the range of parties involved, as well as what we at PDP can and will be doing about it.
Working together to protect consumers
At PDP, our role in consumer protection for pensions dashboards primarily concerns the security of the digital environment, keeping personal data safe, and setting standards and providing governance for the ecosystem. This includes technical and security standards, to ensure the security of information flows within the ecosystem. We will also create design standards, for the display of pensions information to users on dashboards, to avoid confusion and ensure consumers are presented with clear information.
But ensuring consumer protection for dashboards users is also a wider enterprise, in which multiple parties have a role. So we’re also working closely with our delivery partners, including government, regulators, and ombudsmen, to align efforts and collectively deliver the combination of regulations, rules, standards and processes that will ensure appropriate consumer protection.
And we also want to engage more widely with consumer groups, as well as consumers directly, to help inform our approach to consumer protection for pensions dashboards. We are already undertaking a programme of research and user testing to inform our design and put the consumer at the heart of the ecosystem. But we plan to do more.
This is why we’re publishing our progress on consumer protection. We think it’s important to be transparent about the risks we’ve identified and the work we’re doing to address them. We also want to invite views, evidence and insights from others to help inform our work – both on activity within our direct remit to deliver consumer protection, as well as where we’re working with partners to coordinate the wider, shared consumer protection framework.
Please send any feedback on, or input to, our view of consumer protection to: firstname.lastname@example.org.