PDP publishes final pensions dashboards standards

The Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) has published the final pensions dashboards standards, pending approval from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

The November 2022 set of standards, which were finalised following an industry consultation, outline the mandatory requirements that pension providers and schemes, and potential dashboard providers, will need to follow.

The standards cover the technical and operational detail that underpin dashboards legislation, setting out data formatting requirements, as well as the security, service and reporting duties for connecting and operating in the dashboards ecosystem.

Alongside the standards, the PDP has confirmed its process for future updates or changes to standards, including principles for decision-making and the notice period for industry.

Although the updated standards still need to be formally approved by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions before they come into force, PDP published the standards to give the industry as advanced notice as possible.

Indeed, industry experts had previously raised concerns that not having the finalised standards until late 2022 could place a "significant risk" on some schemes’ ability to implement a solution in a controlled fashion.

Following the publication of the finalised standards, PDP principal, Chris Curry, also emphasised the need for pension scheme trustees and administrators to take steps to prepare ahead of the relevant dashboard deadlines.

“Pensions dashboards standards are an essential part of ensuring that users have a safe and consistent experience that will transform their retirement planning," he commented.

"There are now less than six months to go until the first mandatory window opens for pension providers and schemes to begin connecting to the ecosystem. Complying with standards will be necessary to get connected and stay connected, so it’s vital that trustees and administrators know what they need to do to carry out their obligations.

"Industry is not being left to go on this journey alone, however. At PDP, we will continue producing useful videos and articles on standards and what you need to do. If you have any questions or need advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.”

The finalised standards follows the news that the Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022 have now been approved by MPs and peers, with PDP also recently confirming that it had shifted to real data testing.

Looking ahead, the PDP confirmed that a consultation on the draft design standards will take place in the winter, before a finalised draft is published ahead of ministerial approval.

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