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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Digital architecture requirements market engagement notice

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP), is looking to engage with suppliers and pensions industry organisations who may be interested and suitably qualified to provide the high-level requirements.

The PDP is issuing this market engagement notice via the government portal Contracts Finder, to raise awareness in the wider market of a potential future procurement activity to procure a product or service, to meet its proposed central digital architecture requirements for a Pension Finder Service and Governance Register.

Further details, including the background to the programme, is provided in the Request for Information (RFI) Supporting Document below.

This notice intends to facilitate an electronic market engagement exercise, so the PDP can examine the readiness, capacity and capability of interested commercial providers in the market prior to undertaking any future formal competitive procurement exercise.

This is not a call for competition, but a desire to carry out early market engagement to support development of our commercial procurement strategy, and our proposed central digital architecture requirements.

High-level requirements

The PDP is responsible for delivering the central digital architecture which will allow dashboards to provide a front-end service for users. The dashboards architecture will enable and support the operation of pension dashboards. Dashboards are the user’s interface, the means through which individuals will request access to and view their pensions information.

As well as providing this infrastructure, we will need to provide all the necessary interfaces between all the parties. We must also develop an ecosystem governance framework to ensure that the aspects of the pensions dashboards services function correctly, efficiently and securely.

This proposed central architecture ecosystem is composed of:

Pension Finder Service

The Pension Finder Service (PFS) sends out an instruction to all data providers to search for a user’s pensions. If a match is found, the location where the data can be found is returned to the user’s chosen dashboard along with a key (a token ensuring secure access).

This then allows that dashboard to access the data and display it to the user. In the proposed ecosystem the PFS also acts as a trust anchor, providing critical assurances for other elements within the ecosystem. For example, it initiates user authentication and manages user consents and permissions therefore, the consent and authorisation process are a part of this requirement.

Identity Service

The identity service allows users to authenticate themselves (prove they are who they say they are) so that they can access other elements of the ecosystem. It provides the verification required to assure pensions data providers that they are returning data to the correct user and no one else.

Governance Register

The Governance Register includes a record of all elements within the dashboard ecosystem. It is a technical service that provides assurances that the different elements of the ecosystem (dashboards, identity services, PFS and connections to pension schemes) meet the required standards to participate. It ensures that all these elements operate correctly and securely and allows access to be revoked if any party is found to be operating incorrectly, for example by misusing data. It will also enable compliance and monitoring of the system as a whole.

This market engagement exercise will only focus on the Pension Finder Service and Governance Register elements of the requirements.

Instructions to participate

The Request for Information questionnaire is now closed. Unfortunately, we are not able to consider any further responses.

Please note, information gathered during this process including any RFI responses, will not be scored or used to pre-select or prohibit suppliers from participating in any future formal procurement process. Any competitive tender opportunity will be advertised as per the Public Contracts Regulations (PCR 2015) guidelines through a compliant route to market.

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Pensions Dashboards Programme

Published: 22 June 2020

Last updated: 06 December 2022

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