Pasa releases data-focused pensions dashboards guidance

New pensions dashboards guidance that prepares trustees and providers for contributing to the new technology has been released by the Pensions Administration Standards Association (Pasa).

The guidance’s purpose is to explain what schemes and providers need to be doing to prepare for dashboards and incorporate dashboard requirements into their wider data strategies, to outline expected timelines for compliance with dashboard requirements, and to alert relevant parties to the Pensions Dashboards Programme’s (PDP’s) data standards, which were released in December.

Among Pasa's recommendations were implementing an ongoing strategy for the continuous high-quality maintenance of all pension data and taking tactical steps towards dashboard compliance as part of other data projects, such as guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) projects.

Additionally, step-by-step guides for determining the accessibility and accuracy of pension records were included.

The association added that it would shortly issue guidance on data management plans, which it said all pension schemes should be looking to develop and implement to manage their data strategy.

Pasa Dashboard Working Group chair, Chris Connelly, commented: “The main message with this guidance is a very clear one. You should start preparing now!

“Pensions dashboards have been on the horizon for some time, but now the Pension Schemes Act 2021 has received Royal Assent we can expect the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to consult on detailed dashboards regulations and regulators to begin supporting pension providers and schemes comply with their dashboards compulsion duties.”

He added that he expected the PDP “to publish further detailed instructions on how you must operate with the dashboards ecosystem” but added that the new Pasa guidance ensured that “you don’t need to wait for all of this before you make a start”.

Connelly continued: “Almost every aspect of managing a pension scheme is easier to achieve if you actively manage data. A good strategy will incorporate both ongoing and one-off scheme-specific data activities. We will also shortly issue guidance on Data Management Plans, which all pension schemes should be looking to develop and implement to manage their data strategy.

“Pensions dashboards, if done well, could be a game changer in getting people to engage with their pensions, and a better efficiency of pension scheme management full stop. As an organisation PASA wants to play its role in ensuring the industry is as supported as possible in getting things ready and compliant.”

PDP published the timeline for the development of the dashboard in October 2020, stating that the dashboards are expected to be available to savers from 2023.

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