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Press Release

Staged timetable for connection by pensions providers to the pensions dashboard released

3 April, 2024

Pensions minister Paul Maynard has announced the publication of new guidance setting out a staged timetable for connection by pensions providers to the pensions dashboard.

In March 2023, then pensions minister Laura Trott announced a reset of the dashboard programme schedule, with an update in June 2023, which set out a mandatory connection deadline of 31 October 2026. However, the minister said the Dashboards Available Point, the point at which dashboards will be accessible to the public, could be earlier than this time frame. This would see the largest pension schemes, including the largest master trusts and largest FCA regulated pension providers, connect to the dashboard ahead of the mandatory deadline.

In his statement Maynard (pictured) said: “Subject to satisfactory testing, the programme plans to begin the process of connecting the organisations building a direct connection, including DWP State Pension, from August 2024. Connection testing will then continue to ensure readiness to support wider industry connection from early 2025.

“This will help smooth the process of connecting the approximately 3,000 pension schemes and providers in scope by the connection deadline of 31 October 2026.”

The timetable prioritises connection of the largest pension schemes and providers, to enable user testing to quickly take place at scale, with the first cohort expected to have completed connection by the end of April 2025.

The minister said while the timetable is not mandatory, it is a legal requirement that trustees or managers of occupational pension schemes and providers of personal and stakeholder pensions “have regard to this guidance”.

Commenting on the announcement Anthony Rafferty, CEO, Origo, said: “The pensions minister’s announcement creates renewed emphasis for pension providers to have their data preparation underway and their solution for connection to the PDP central architecture chosen or in advance stages of being planned, so as not to risk missing their allotted deadline.

“The industry is predicted to receive millions of requests for pensions data when dashboards are fully live. Providers therefore need to be ‘dashboard ready’, with a robust and scalable service which can securely and compliantly handle their pension dashboard processing requirements. All of which must be in place in enough time to connect to the central digital architecture, to ensure a smooth, well tested process ahead of their deadline.

“Also, in practice, pension providers and schemes will receive multiple fields of data from the Dashboard and will match it with their records. Where there is a partial match, for example where the surname, date of birth and postcode match but the national insurance number is different, providers need a reliable process in place to help deal with it.”

“Providers can connect directly to the dashboard but that requires considerable internal resource and most providers will be looking to connect via an Integrated Service Provider such as the Origo Dashboard Connector.”

Kate Smith, head of Pensions at Aegon said the announcement “confirms that pension dashboards will become a reality, reconnecting millions of people with their pensions in one place online, helping them to plan for their future selves.

“We hope that all schemes will follow the guidance, to ensure connection is carried out in an orderly manner avoiding ‘last minute’ connections and potential log jams. The pension dashboard programme and government will need to monitor this closely.”

Originally published: https://professionalparaplanne...