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Executive summary

Pensions dashboards will help individuals view their pensions information online, securely and all in one place, thereby supporting better planning for retirement and growing financial wellbeing.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) set up the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) in 2019, where we are responsible for designing and creating the pensions dashboards ecosystem, which contains the digital architecture that will make pensions dashboards work.

We are also responsible for developing the governance framework to support and enable the implementation and operation of pensions dashboards.

MaPS is developing a pensions dashboard, and we anticipate that other organisations will build additional dashboards.

This is our fourth progress update report and provides a summary of what we have achieved since April 2021, when we published our last report.

Focus and priorities

Signing the contract with Capgemini to supply our central digital architecture marked the end of a busy period of procurement activity, following extensive supplier engagement and input from the pensions industry. It also marked the beginning of the develop and test phase of the programme.

The main focus for the programme over the next six months is the build of the digital architecture, procurement and integration of the identity service and the onboarding of alpha test participants and further testing of the ecosystem.

We announced that seven major providers had signed up to be part of the alpha testing phase, which will start in December 2021. This is a significant milestone for PDP, as we’re heavily reliant on industry cooperation at this stage.

We have started the process to recruit potential dashboard providers to our alpha testing phase. This is ongoing and we will announce the results of the process in the next few months.

PDP has started procurement of an identity solution, having defined the requirements for the service. Ultimately, we want to provide an identity service under the government’s digital trust and attributes framework, which will not be available for the next two years, so we will work with an interim provider in the short term during our test phases. We will appoint a provider and integrate the identity service with the rest of the central digital architecture early next year.

Upcoming activity

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Develop and test phase

PDP’s develop and test phase started in September and runs through to summer 2022. It incorporates the discovery phase with Capgemini and Origo and initial (alpha) testing.

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Discovery phase

The discovery phase with Capgemini, plus its subcontractor, Origo, runs until November this year. This will include agreeing a governance structure, ways of working and acceptance criteria with MaPS, setting up the collaboration agreement and preparing, refining and issuing the deliverables outlined in the tender document.

PDP will also work on the onboarding and complaints processes, building on MaPS user research.

Externally, we will support the Government Digital Service (GDS) assurance and engage cyber security assurance and design support from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), including planning for future penetration testing.

We will seek further input into the data protection impact assessment. More detail is available on our consumer protection pages.

We will also run a selection process for dashboard providers to be part of the alpha testing phase (see dashboard providers section for detail).

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Alpha testing phase (December 21 – June 22)

The alpha testing phase of the programme will start in December, for a six-month period. In addition to the building and testing of the digital architecture, PDP will conclude the identity service procurement. We anticipate awarding contracts and having a supplier in place in the new year.

During alpha testing, PDP will work with Capgemini, Origo and the identity service provider to continue the build of the digital architecture, while testing and refining the onboarding process via the experience of the alpha participants.

We expect to learn a huge amount during this phase, as we take dashboards from the drawing board and build the technology to deliver them. We will also learn a great deal about how to support data and dashboard providers during the onboarding process, including flushing out practical issues that providers may encounter and learning how best to tackle those.

We’ll use all that learning to test our plans and timetable for the rest of the programme, to ensure that we are giving industry the most effective support possible. In the subsequent beta testing stage we’ll work with a bigger population of providers and, later we’ll move on to the compulsory stages of onboarding for data providers.

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Other activity

We will also continue to:

  • work on design standards for pensions dashboards
  • carry out further user testing to continue to define user needs and requirements from dashboards
  • work with our colleagues at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to progress and support the consultations on secondary legislation, and corresponding rules
  • work with the pensions industry and the regulators on creating an effective, consumer-focused onboarding strategy, which we will communicate as soon as possible, together with our delivery partners, to ensure that pension providers understand their obligations

Summary of progress over the last six months

The programme has moved forwards significantly over the last six months. Key achievements are listed below:

digital architecture procurement – we have run the procurement process for the central digital architecture, with the successful bidder, Capgemini awarded the contract in September

supplier onboarding underway – the process of onboarding Capgemini and Origo has started, with activity ongoing to establish ways of working as we move into the develop and test phase of the programme

seven major pension organisations signed up to alpha testing – the software providers, insurers and third party administrators will work with the programme to refine the onboarding process, with further organisations lined up for beta testing phases

staging proposals outlined in call for input and webinars – we outlined the thinking on the order and timing of when pensions organisations will have to connect to dashboards, which met with a largely positive response – the feedback will input into DWP’s consultation this winter

publication of online data providers hub – to support pension providers and schemes to prepare for onboarding to the pensions dashboards ecosystem

engagement commenced with potential dashboard providers – in addition to the MaPS dashboard, PDP will work with other parties interested in becoming dashboard providers during the testing phases. We have created a dashboard providers hub and started the process to recruit test participants

established new working groups – our new ecosystem technical working group helps refine the technical standards for data and dashboard providers to connect to the ecosystem. We’ve also established a working group for our alpha data provider participants

developing user centred design standards and service standards – we have commenced UX testing, which will feed into the design standards for dashboards, as well as starting work on prototypes for further testing

identity service procurement – we finalised our requirements for the identity service, following further feedback from stakeholders. A procurement exercise starts next month for an interim service, for our testing phases.

publication of an identity hub – which explains more about our approach and the government’s trust and attributes framework, which is central to our final identity service solution

consumer protection – we have continued to develop our policy thinking around consumer protection, we set this out in our September publication, which explains more about the liability model and complaints handling

governance – we have successfully gained the necessary government approvals for all procurement activity to date. Our review by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) focused on the business case for the central digital architecture and PDP received an amber rating, which is positive for the programme at this stage

team building – we have successfully scaled up the team to ensure that we can deliver the next phase of the programme. This has included recruiting key senior roles, technical expertise and project management including a new Head of Engagement

research and insight – we have published a summary of our first stage of qualitative research to further define the pensions landscape, expand our evidence base and define user needs

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