1. An introduction to data standards

Data standards are an essential part of the pensions dashboards ecosystem. They create the common language that will allow for the exchange of data between UK pension providers and individuals using pensions dashboards.  

NB. When we refer to pension providers, this encompasses all the pension data holders and providers ie pension providers, schemes and ISPs (we expect some administration software providers may choose to develop an integrated service provision offer to connect their pension provider and scheme clients to the ecosystem).

What are we publishing now and what can industry do?

What we’re publishing now is an outline of the data elements that will go into the data standards, with a usage guide, to help providers to review their data, in preparation for connecting to dashboards.

We’ve undertaken extensive industry engagement and we are confident that these data elements will remain constant, whatever the final outcome of our digital architecture procurement or any user-testing.

We’re calling on providers to improve their data and get it in shape for their customers and members to access via dashboards.
Data standards guide

Standard data to power dashboards

Connecting multiple pensions from thousands of pension providers, with the 25 million plus UK adults who have not yet accessed their pensions is no small task. But we’re rising to the challenge with this initial description of the data elements.

In April 2019, in its response to the consultation on Pensions Dashboards, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said that initial pensions dashboards should offer a:

“…find and view function, showing individuals some consistent basic information about their pensions,” with “…no more information than is currently available on annual statements, or on request.”

This year, we have worked extensively with industry stakeholders to define both the find and view elements of the required data.

The data standards guide covers the data elements required to find and view basic information about an individual’s pensions.

The find data is the information pensions providers will receive from the pensions dashboards ecosystem, elements of which, they will need to use to match people to their pensions.

The view data is the information that pensions providers will have to return to individuals to see on dashboards. 

Our introduction to the pensions dashboards ecosystem video explains how this will work.

This will meet the three key user needs for initial dashboards as set out in our April 2020 progress update report, to:

  • reconnect me with my pensions 
  • start to build my sense of ownership 
  • start to increase my awareness

Watch our video on data standards for an overview of how this will work.


Included in scope

For the first iteration of pensions dashboards, all UK-based pensions are in scope. This includes:

  • state pensions
  • defined benefit pensions (including cash balance schemes)
  • defined contribution pensions (including a remaining balance after any uncrystallised funds pension lump sums have been withdrawn)

Excluded from scope

Pensions that are currently paying out, annuitised or in drawdown are out of scope. For example, individuals that have reached state pension age will not be able to view their state pension on pensions dashboards

Non-UK based pensions are also out of scope. 

Next page: 2. Actions for pensions providers

3. Find data

4. View data

5. Collaborating to create data standards

Data standards guide


Further information on data standards

Please check our frequently asked questions for further information.

If you have any additional queries about our data standards publications please email [email protected].

Our glossary provides a useful set of definitions for some of the terms you may come across in these pages.