Pensions Dashboards - the slow dash to connection
You could be forgiven for thinking that the whole Pensions Dashboard thing has gone away.
Given the rate of progress since they were first announced it’s seemed less like a dash and more of a meandering walk.
To assume that Dashboards are dead would however be a big mistake. Recent intelligence suggests that the intent to progress remains and a new staging timetable isn’t far off.
How did we get here?
The Dashboards program was conceived to make it easy for people to find and view information about their pensions. A staging timetable was announced outlining when schemes would need to connect to the new infrastructure. The industry then set about meeting the not inconsiderable challenge. It soon became apparent that meeting the requirements and timetable would be exceedingly difficult for some schemes. The issues to be navigated included, and still do, Data quality, Digitisation of the data, Administrator technology, or lack of it Resource and budget.
Feedback from many of the large administrators and platform providers was that it wasn’t achievable, at least not in the proposed timetable.
It wasn’t too much of a surprise when in June 2023 it was announced that there was to be a “pause”. No new timetable was announced but there was a new endpoint of 31st October 2026 for all in scope schemes to connect.
Despite the industry pressing for detail on when a new timetable would emerge and if anything, substantive would change, there has been little news. Recent noises, however, suggest that the announcement of a new timetable is just months off. April 2024 has been mentioned.
An 18-month dash?
The first schemes may well connect from April 2025. That means all schemes in scope will sit within an 18-month window ending October 2026.
Well basically all the things that have been flagged for action since Dashboards were first announced. There’s lots of good recent guidance on getting ready from PASA & the TPR, nothing new but a good prompt for schemes that aren’t yet there.
The key points are,
Make sure the underlying technology is up to the job of meeting The Dashboards requirements.
Get on top the data. It needs to be good enough to enable a match from a find message as well as supporting the calculation of an Estimated Retirement Income.
Communicate to members in advance of the staging date and ensure the administrator has a plan to handle the inevitable queries.
Watch for developments, looks like at last the pace is hotting up!