Govt publishes dashboards consultation response; first 2 staging deadlines deferred

The government has published its response to its consultation on the draft regulations for pensions dashboards, revealing that the deadlines for the first two staging cohorts have been deferred by two months.

While connection can still begin from 1 April 2023, master trusts with 20,000 or more relevant members have had their staging deadline changed from 30 June 2023 to 31 August 2023.

The deadline for defined contribution (DC) schemes used for auto-enrolment with 20,000 or more relevant members has been deferred from 31 July 2023 to 30 September 2023.

Meanwhile, the 30 September 2023 deadline for DC schemes for auto-enrolment and master trusts with 10,000 – 19,999 relevant members has not changed.

The government said that the changes will not impact the level of coverage on pensions dashboards from September 2023 onwards.

It has also deferred the staging deadline for public service pension schemes by five months from 30 April 2024 to 30 September 2024 to mitigate the impact of the McCloud remedy implementation.

The requirement on public service pension schemes to provide value data has also been eased, to 1 April 2025 at the latest.

On data, the consultation response noted that date of birth will be included, while national insurance numbers will not be a requirement.

A provision has been included that states value data should be provided to new scheme members as soon as is practicable, but no later than either the point at which the first statement has been produced for that member or within the first 12 months of the end of the first full scheme year the individual was a member of the scheme, whichever is sooner.

The regulations will also be altered to allow a simplified approach to be used when calculating a deferred members’ non-DC benefits.

Following concerns on the requirement to provide an annualised accrued value, the government will alter the regulations to clarify the methodology for calculating the value by required that annualised accrued values should be calculated as if the individual has reached their retirement date on the illustration date.

The response also sought to provide more detail on requirements for additional voluntary contributions (AVC).

Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, stated that the government remained fully committed to making pensions dashboards happen at the earliest opportunity, and that trustees or managers of schemes of all types and sizes should focus their preparations on making sure their data is ready and that they have plans in place for how they intend to connect to the digital architecture.

“For many people, a pension is the most significant financial investment they will make in their life,” he commented. “That is why the introduction of pensions dashboards is so important.

“Clear pensions information at the touch of a button, including on the state pension, will ensure savers are better informed and more engaged, while helping people to plan effectively for retirement, as well as to find lost and forgotten pension pots.

“The building and initial testing of the digital dashboards architecture is already well underway. My message to the trustees and managers of pension schemes of all types and sizes is simple: get data ready.”

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