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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Recent questions on dashboards

The Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) is committed to continuous engagement with the pensions industry. Throughout the year, we host and attend speaking engagements, webinars, groups and forums. We receive many common questions about pensions dashboards. In this blog post, I wanted to cover some of the recent queries we’ve received.

What is the timeframe for returning value data triggered by a successful find request?

Legislation sets the timeframe for the calculations of values where the values are not already available. They must be provided to the member immediately where a statement has been issued within the last 13 months or a calculation made for the member within the last 12 months.

Where the provider/scheme needs to undertake a fresh calculation, they will need to do so within the permitted calculation periods of 3 working days for defined contribution schemes and 10 working days for defined benefit schemes. The time period for this begins the day after the registration of the pensions identifier (PeI) in response to a find request. This means the value must be calculated and made available for return to a dashboard within this time period.

In the unlikely event that a user sent a find request, but then did not go on to send a view request, the provider/scheme would still need to ensure the data is available for return within the time period to meet the legislative requirement.

Can trustees assume that user consent is present via the consent and authorisation service?

Legislation requires trustees to check with the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) that the individual, to whom the find request relates, has consented to their view data being provided to the dashboard issuing the view request.

PDP’s central digital architecture, through the consent and authorisation service, provides the means for the individual to set and manage their authorisation policies for access to their pensions information. It also enables the pension provider or scheme checks on the authorisation of the view request issued by a dashboard. If the tokens are valid, the consent and authorisation service confirms this back to the pension provider or scheme, which then sends the data. No further check is necessary.

Who is responsible for making additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) data available to members on dashboards?

Under the legislation, the main pension provider or scheme must ensure all elements of the benefits for which they are responsible are available to their members via dashboards. This includes AVC pensions linked to the main pension.

Since AVC pensions are usually administered by a separate provider, this is how the setup would work. AVC providers may connect to the ecosystem directly, or via a third party. They would return data via a separate connection to the one used by the main pension scheme. Other AVC providers may provide the AVC data to the main pension provider or scheme.

Irrespective of the setup, the pension provider or scheme should work with the AVC provider to ensure data for the AVCs is available on dashboards.

The data standards outline the pension link data element. This makes it easier for providers to link their returns on dashboards, even where there are multiple sources for those returns.

Chris Curry
Author:
Chris Curry

Published: 19 March 2024

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