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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PDP webinar: introduction to pensions dashboards

This webinar re-introduced pensions dashboards, explaining dashboard goals and the role of the regulators.

Chris Curry, PDP’s principal, was joined by PDP’s policy team, David Marjoribanks and Gary Millar and Pensions Dashboards Business Lead at The Pensions Regulator (TPR), Lucy Stone.

These Q&As detail the questions asked by attendees and the answers given by the panel during the webinar.

View recording:

Introduction to pensions dashboards
Read the transcript

These Q&As detail the questions asked by attendees and the answers given by the panel during the webinar.

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

PDP and our delivery partners recognise the need to allow industry time to prepare for connection, and the need to give as long a lead-time as possible.

We are committed to engaging with industry over the coming months on the staging timeline to be included in guidance.

What is the difference between DAP and the 31 October 2026 connection deadline?

The dashboards available point (DAP) is when dashboards will be available for people to find and view their pensions information.

DAP will be set by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, following consultation with the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) and the regulators. There will be at least 6 months’ notice.

The connection deadline of 31 October 2026 is set out in amended regulations by the Departments for Work and Pensions (DWP). This is the latest date by which all relevant pension schemes will need to connect to the pensions dashboards ecosystem.

If pension providers and schemes connect in line with the staging profile set out in guidance, then DAP could come before the connection deadline.

What notice period will schemes have?

DWP, PDP and our partners all understand the need for as much notice as possible for pension providers and schemes to prepare for connection. We aim to give at least 12 months’ notice for the first providers and schemes and those connecting later in staging will have longer.

We continue to work with a group of around 20 ‘early participants’, made up of pension providers and schemes, insurers, third-party administrators, and integrated service providers (ISPs), on building a route to connection and testing. PDP will continue to engage industry with any updates.

In terms of connection, for large administrators, is it all schemes within scope? Or can a phased approach be taken? eg 95% with the remaining 5% later to support achieving DAP

Connecting in line with the staging timetable in guidance will support the fastest possible coverage of pensions. This will help support an earlier dashboards available point.

For large administrators connecting many client schemes, the staging profile will benefit their connection process.

We will work with industry and partners to support adherence to the dates in guidance. We are currently looking at how we can broaden our collaboration with industry in order to make this as effective as possible.

What are the expected volumes of find requests following DAP?

DWP’s published impact assessment estimated possible volumes of dashboards users by applying PDP research on likelihood of use by UK population estimates by age group.

This gave a steady-state estimate of 16.3m users after DAP, with estimates ranging from 12.7m users to 19.4m users for the low and high scenarios in steady state respectively.

The estimate of 16.3m users in steady state is also comparable with the numbers of users experienced by other countries who have a similar service.

Will the staggered connection dates be before or after 31 October 2026?

Staggered connection dates will be before the connection deadline of 31 October 2026. The timetable for connection in guidance will set out a timetable leading up to the deadline. All pension providers and schemes in scope of the legislation must be connected by that deadline at the latest, and should have regard to the timetable in guidance.

The deadline is the latest possible point by which they must be connected. The timetable in guidance will set out a profile for staggered connection over a period of months leading up to the deadline.

What is the point or meaning of the 31 October 2026 date if there will be scheme specific staging dates to be issued in guidance but that are expected to be met?

The connection deadline of 31 October 2026 is the date by which all relevant pension schemes will need to connect to the pensions dashboards ecosystem.

Connection windows will be set out in guidance, with pension providers and schemes grouped together over different stages. Similar to the previous staging profile in legislation, in order to stagger connections.

Pensions providers and schemes must have regard to the guidance and demonstrate they have done so. They will be advised to connect to dashboards according to the timeline to manage the volume of connections and ensure all providers and schemes in scope can be connected by the deadline.

Do you have any examples of what pensions dashboards will look like, and will MoneyHelper provide a template?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have consulted on a proposed regulatory framework for dashboard services, including requirements in relation to display and will be sharing updates soon.

PDP has also consulted on draft design standards, which will set out the parameters for the display of the pensions information. We continue to work on developing these standards and expect to engage with industry again before finalising.

Can you publish a list of third party providers who are selling or making available dashboard compliant software?

PDP will be looking into the possibility of publishing a list of third-party providers.

We advise schemes to speak to their current administrator, software providers or payroll providers to find more information on the different routes. Each scheme will have their own circumstances and needs that will need to be taken into consideration to make their choice on what works best for them.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published guidance on choosing the route to connection which providers more information.

How will a member of the public ‘register’ to use the service and will they have a permanent dashboard logon/ password thereafter?

This depends on the dashboard the user is using and whether they offer guest access or an account login.

Regardless of dashboard used, the user will need to verify their identity to access their pensions information.

Who determines what the pensions identifiers point is?

PDP’s technical standards will set out how pension identifiers for pensions found as a result of matching are to be generated and registered.

What unique identifier will allow all pensions schemes to be seen for an individual on the pensions dashboard?

When a find request is sent out by a user, pension providers an schemes then match against the find data received. When a match is identified, they register a unique identifier for that pensions at the central service provided by PDP.

These identifiers are then used by the user’s dashboard of choice to pull the pensions information to display to the user on the dashboard.

Are there any synergies, learnings or other opportunities to leverage open banking as another initiative providing centralised views across multiple providers?

There are aspects of open banking that PDP can learn from, and we have engaged with those experienced within the open banking space. It is important to recognise that pensions dashboards are different from open banking, both in what they are trying to achieve and how they will operate.

Pensions dashboards aim to find lost pensions pots, whereas open banking is helping people expand on what they currently have and are aware of.

For example, the way we need to work to identify people’s digital identity and verify will be different from the processes in open banking.

We can utilise many learnings, but there are some fundamental differences and we will use this knowledge in our implementation of dashboards.

When will regulations or an update be provided regarding delegated access?

The legislation allows users to delegate access to their pensions information to authorised financial advisers with the relevant permissions.

As our work on the build continues, we will provide updates on delegated access functionality and timescales for delivery.

Is the intention for smaller schemes (1-99 members) to be regulated to connect to dashboards at some point in the future?

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

Are schemes approaching buyout expected to comply?

Duties continue to apply to the trustees up to the point of buy-out, when duties then apply to the buy-out provider.

Where can I find TPR’s information on how to prepare for dashboards?

TPR has developed a checklist to ensure pension schemes are on track to meet their dashboard duties. Trustees and administrators are encouraged to work together and use the checklist to see which actions they should already be working on.

TPR preparation checklist

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Author:
Pensions Dashboards Programme

Published: 04 October 2023

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