The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued a written ministerial statement providing an update on the publication of connection guidance which includes the new staging timeline for connecting to pensions dashboards.

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Common questions on dashboards

I regularly attend speaking engagements throughout the year, where I take the opportunity to talk about pensions dashboards and provide updates on the programme. These events are always intended to be conversations, not just broadcasts. I frequently invite questions from the audience to help clarify complex points around pensions dashboards. Here are some of the common topics I’ve been addressing.

How is connection guidance different to the connection deadline?

The connection deadline of 31 October 2026 is the date by which all pension providers and schemes in scope must have connected to the pensions dashboards ecosystem.

Dates for when individual pension providers and schemes will connect will be set out in guidance. Providers and schemes will be grouped together over different stages in connection windows. This will work in a similar way to the previous staging profile in legislation, in order to stagger connections.

Pension providers and schemes must be able to demonstrate they have had regard to the guidance when making decisions about when they will connect. They will be advised to connect to dashboards according to the timeline. Doing so will help to manage the volume of connections, ensure all providers and schemes in scope can be connected by the deadline, and allow for dashboards to become publicly available as early as possible.

When will guidance be published, and how will PDP engage with industry?

The Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) and our delivery partners recognise the need for as long a lead-time as possible to enable industry to prepare for connection. We are committed to engaging with industry over the coming months on the staging timeline to be included in guidance. There will be engagement between PDP, DWP, industry, and regulators on draft guidance before it is finalised.

PDP’s upcoming progress update report will highlight delivery for the next 6 months. We will continue to share messages and collaborate with industry and will provide updates via our connection hub. The aim is for all the required guidance to be made available in good time before the connection begins.

Are there any examples of how dashboards will look?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has consulted on a proposed regulatory framework for dashboard services, including requirements on how dashboards will appear for users. They will be sharing updates soon.

PDP has also consulted on draft design standards, which will set out the requirements for displaying pensions information. This will cover the overall look of dashboards, how data is presented, messaging, signposting and onward customer journeys. We are continuing to work on refining these standards and expect to engage with industry again before finalising.

Will smaller schemes (1-99 members) be required to connect to dashboards in the future?

When DWP consulted on the Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022, it stated that occupational schemes with fewer than 100 members were out of scope for mandatory connection. However, smaller schemes may voluntarily opt in to connect. The timing for mandatory connection of “small and micro schemes will be determined later and included in a separate package of future Regulations”.

Chris Curry
Author:
Chris Curry

Published: 12 October 2023

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