Data standards

The data standards for pensions dashboards provide the basis for data interoperability across the pensions dashboards ecosystem. These standards are to help developers of dashboard connectivity solutions, and the pension providers, build a common set of message handling tools to receive data from the pension finder service, or pensions dashboards, and reply with the appropriate data.

The standards can be read in conjunction with the data usage guide, which provides further information in support of these detailed data standards.

Worked examples of the usage of the data items can be found in the appendix document.

 
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Overview of data standards and associated documents

Last published in January 2022 as a data usage guide rather than a formal standard, these documents have been revised following further engagement with industry.

 The data usage guide published in January has now been split out into three products: 

  • data standards 
  • data usage guide 
  • data usage examples appendix

The data standards describe, in detail, the data definitions and the conditions surrounding the provision of each data item, or each section of data items. It is designed to help pension providers understand how to provide the data. The exact format required can be found in the sample JSON schema in the technical standards. 

The data usage guide describes the usage and purpose of the data, and when to send each section of data. It is designed to help pension providers understand how to choose which data items held in their systems are required.

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The data usage examples are a guide to how you might fill out the data required in the view message. It uses example schemes and made-up data to show how real-world scenarios can be mapped into the required data structures. It also provides examples of where pension providers have choices, or discretion over how they apply their data into the standard. 

Download data usage examples appendix

Summary of changes

There have been a number of changes to the detailed data definitions within the data standards such as clearing up where there were differences between the written data formats and the final detail of formats in the JSON schema. 

As alpha testing has progressed, further inconsistent behaviours between the conditionality of related data items has also been resolved. For example, the interrelation between two different values or conditions where data items are mandatory, optional, or where they must not be sent. 

Wider reaching changes 

Three main areas have been changed as a result of further industry engagement:

Clarification on the values to be provided for inactive members of non-money purchase benefits

It has been confirmed that such benefits will need to be revalued from the date of leaving, up to a ‘current’ date. That being a date in the last 12 months. This revalued benefit must be presented as the Accrued Pension. See section 2.4xx of the data elements. 
 
This clarification means that providing an Estimated Retirement Income (ERI) is now optional. This is the section of data numbered 2.3xx. This means that if you routinely project such benefits forward to retirement today, you can still send that information to dashboards to be consistent with other communications you send but you do not have to. 

Design decisions on linking pensions together

Data item 2.009 is called “Pension Link”. Its purpose is to allow two or more parts of an overall pension benefit to be provided by separate data providers, but still be displayed together on the dashboard screen. 
 
In considering the requirements for this, two main examples were evidenced: 

  • where a scheme may have split administration, for example DB and DC categories with different administrators, or 
  • where a DB scheme has external AVC providers 

For the Pension Link to work, it needs to be unique. There needs to be no way that two schemes with two different AVC providers accidentally agree the same value between them. The decision has been made to make this value a UUID.    

Read the data standards for details, and the data usage guide for how it should operate. 

Clarification on multiple values

DWP’s response to the pensions dashboards consultation has made it clearer that multiple values are allowed. The data usage examples appendix includes some examples of scenarios or benefit structures that may choose to send multiple values for Accrued and ERI. 
 
This is also reflected in the data standard to show that the value sections (2.3xx for ERI and 2.4xx for Accrued) may repeat up to 10 times. 

This July 2022 publication is to aide responses to the pensions dashboards standards consultation, as well as contributing to preparation for dashboards.

Any specific queries on the data standards documents please email datapdp@maps.org.uk

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