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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Pensions Dashboards Programme starting market engagement

The Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) is entering the next stage of the process to build the technology which will enable individuals to view all their pensions via their chosen dashboard.

The PDP, set up by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), has responsibility for designing and implementing the ecosystem which will make pensions dashboards work.

Today (June 22nd) it is starting a 6-week period of informal market engagement with potential suppliers of the digital architecture which will connect individuals with their pensions information when they request it. The market engagement exercise will enable the PDP to examine the readiness, capacity and capability of commercial firms which might be interested in the work. This is in preparation for a formal procurement process anticipated to start in Autumn 2020.

Potential suppliers are being invited to register their interest and complete an online request for Information questionnaire by 31st July.

Throughout July and August there will also be an industry-wide call for input relating to the data scope and data definitions working papers which were published in April. The formal Call for Input on these was delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Call for Input will open on the 6th July and further information will be made available shortly on the newly launched PDP website.

In conjunction with this Call for Input, the PDP will convene a Data Working Group representing all sectors of the pensions industry. The group will meet regularly for a series of detailed, solution-focussed dialogues to help finalise a set of data standards later in the year.

Chris Curry, Principal of the Pensions Dashboards Programme at MaPS, said:

“The pensions industry faced significant challenges as a result of Covid-19 and the lockdown. Firms were rightly focused on day-to-day operations and the immediate needs of their customers – but while that was going on, the Pensions Dashboards Programme has continued its work towards delivering the technology that will enable individuals to see all of their pensions information online, securely and all in one place.

“We know the sector has responded well to the current crisis and there is enthusiasm to engage once again in the important detail of delivering pensions dashboards. We are now making good progress on a number of fronts and are ready to shape detailed data requirements with the help of the industry while also starting engagement with the tech firms which will help us build the dashboard ecosystem.

“The concept behind pensions dashboards is simple but there are still complicated technical and regulatory hurdles to overcome. The work of the next few months will be significant in helping us develop a timeline for the delivery of these services.”

Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion Guy Opperman said:

“With record numbers of people saving for retirement it is more important than ever that people understand their pensions so they can prepare for financial security in later life.

“Pensions dashboards will help to reconnect savers with lost pension pots, and will engage those who may be under-saving or are facing complicated decisions as they approach retirement.

“This engagement between the Pensions Dashboards Programme and potential suppliers of the dashboard infrastructure will pave the way for a formal procurement process this autumn. Alongside this, its imminent call for input on data standards is another crucial step towards putting individuals in control of their financial futures.

“The measures included in the Pension Schemes Bill currently going through Parliament will compel pension providers to make consumers data available to them via dashboards. I would encourage schemes to be on the front foot and to get ‘data ready’ now.

“There remains plenty of work to be done, but this is a hugely exciting innovation, one that I believe will bring pensions into the digital age and transform the way we all think about and plan for retirement.”

There is further information for firms interested in taking part in the market engagement process.

The data scope and data definitions working papers are both in the reports and analysis section of the new PDP website.

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Pensions Dashboards Programme

Published: 22 June 2020

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