Frequently asked questions on the new approach to connection
On 8 June, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) issued a written ministerial statement (WMS). The statement explains that amended regulations have been laid with a new approach to delivery. When approved by Parliament, the previous staging timeline set out in legislation will be replaced with a single connection deadline.
The new approach allows DWP, the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) and partners more time and flexibility to work collaboratively with the pensions industry.
What is the new connection deadline?
Pension providers and schemes (within scope of the regulations) will have a mandatory connection deadline of 31 October 2026.
The connection deadline provides certainty and allows the time for the pensions industry, regulators and Government to work together on ensuring that pensions providers and schemes can prepare for dashboards.
What is the guidance?
The guidance will set out when pension providers and schemes are expected to connect. While this will not be mandatory, an updated staging profile in guidance will provide the framework for when schemes should connect.
This is a complex programme involving the connection of more than 3,000 pension providers and schemes. Trustees will be expected to demonstrate how they have had regard to the guidance.
It is in the best interests of consumers that dashboards are made available as quickly as possible, and this can best be achieved if schemes follow the guidance.
How much notice and support will industry have for connection?
PDP will ensure there is sufficient lead time ahead of connection and we will engage with industry to ensure they can input into the development of supporting materials. These will be finalised as part of the work on preparing the guidance that will also set out the connection windows.
How will PDP be collaborating with industry?
PDP will engage with industry on shaping both the guidance and the supporting documents for connection. We will also continue engaging with industry on preparing for dashboards, providing support and tips for any pension providers and schemes facing unexpected difficulties.
Will the FCA rules be amended to reflect the new approach?
The FCA has issued a statement to confirm they will make corresponding changes to the deadlines in the dashboard rules for FCA regulated pension providers.