Looking back on 2023
This year has been a challenge for the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP), but also one where we’ve made significant progress.
Following the reset announced in March, PDP has been working hard with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on producing a revised programme plan. In June, a written ministerial statement announced a deadline of pension providers and schemes completing connection to the pensions dashboards ecosystem by 31 October 2026. Our new plan is designed to ensure PDP is able to facilitate connection by this date, prioritising work on preparing for connection, with resourcing dedicated to achieving this goal. It will provide adequate time to take into account the different needs of those providers and schemes who are building their own route to connection versus those who are buying a third-party connection solution.
The written ministerial statement also set out that the dates for when pension providers and schemes are expected to connect will be set out in guidance. Over the Autumn, PDP has been facilitating engagement with industry on the timeline in guidance, led by DWP.
We’ve continued to work closely with a group of over 20 volunteer participants on developing the connection journey for the rest of industry. This has been invaluable in ensuring connection processes are stable and effective when connection begins. As connection progresses, PDP will work with organisations across industry to further refine processes and user experiences.
Collaboration is central to how we work, and we’ve been engaged with industry, Government and regulators throughout the year. Alongside our discussion, connection and dashboard provider forums, we’ve also been running a connection delivery group to test and refine products and processes with volunteer participants. Earlier this year, we established communications working groups with industry to help us improve how we inform and engage industry on dashboards.
As with previous years, the PDP team and I have attended 38 conferences, speaking events and webinars across 2023 to talk about dashboards and answer questions. This has included events run by PLSA, ABI, Pensions Age, Professional Pensions, the Pensions Management Institute, the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee, and many meetings of scheme trustees. PDP has also hosted webinars on reintroducing people to dashboards, understanding the central digital architecture, and an update on our progress.
Looking ahead to 2024
Next year will be important for PDP. The guidance with connection dates will be released at least 12 months ahead of wider industry beginning connection. The programme will progress work on dashboard standards, with data standards expected to be published to coincide with connection guidance.
We’ll press ahead with preparing to connect and test with volunteer participants. We’ll also launch a user testing and planning group for wider industry, to plan and co-ordinate user activity ahead of dashboards becoming publicly available.
As ever, I’m truly grateful for the support and spirit of co-operation shown across the pensions industry, Government, regulators and other organisations involved in dashboards. I also want to thank the team at PDP and the Money and Pensions Service for everything they continue to do to make dashboards a reality.