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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Data standards: what they are, what’s been updated and what this means for industry

As industry prepares for connection to the pensions dashboards ecosystem, I am pleased to report that the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) has published an updated version of data standards. Closely following the recent publication of the connection timetable in guidance, this meets our commitment to share the updated data standards at least 12 months ahead of the first connect-by dates for industry.

Here I’d like to provide an overview of what the data standards are, information about this new update and what this means for pension providers and schemes preparing to connect.

About data standards

The Money and Pensions Service, through PDP, is empowered by law to set standards that provide the rules and controls facilitating ongoing connection to the dashboards ecosystem. One of these is data standards, which provide the basis for data interoperability across the ecosystem and cover all data requirements for finding and viewing pensions information.

The data standards are there to help developers of dashboard connectivity solutions, and pension providers and schemes (or third party organisations connecting on their behalf), build a common set of message handling tools to receive and reply with appropriate and accurate data.

Data standards update

On 30 April we published an updated version of the data standards (version 1.2) on the PDP website. This follows a commitment that data standards would be published to coincide with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) connection timeline in guidance.

PDP consulted on and published a draft version of data standards in 2022. We then undertook further engagement with industry on that draft in 2023, which helped shape this new version.

The updated data standards are on PDP’s website, where you will also find a changelog clearly denoting the changes that have been made since the previous version. It is important that pension providers and schemes preparing for connection to the dashboards ecosystem familiarise themselves with the updated standards.

Preparing for connection

We continue to work closely with our 20-plus volunteer participants, made up of pension providers and schemes, third-party administrators and integrated service providers (ISPs). This cohort is building a direct route to connection and represents the vast majority of pensions in scope for dashboards.

We’ve shared the updated data standards with the volunteer participants and as part of our delivery plan, will begin connection testing with them from August this year. This will help pave the way for the start of the wider industry connection dates in guidance, according to which the first cohort of pension providers and schemes should connect by the end of April 2025.

Other dashboard standards

The other dashboard standards being refined are technical, reporting and design standards, as well as a code of connection, made up of security, service and operational standards. These will be published once they have been tested and validated with our volunteer participants. All standards are also subject to final approval by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

I’d like to thank all those who’ve helped shape data standards, across industry, government and the regulators. We’re looking forward to working together on refining the remaining standards as we prepare for connection testing later this year and wider industry connection in 2025.

Please visit the standards page on our website for the updated data standards and more information.

Chris Curry
Chris Curry

Published: 13 May 2024

Last updated: 14 May 2024

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