PDP to continue work on defining estimated retirement income data standards

There is “further work to do” to define some areas of the Pensions Dashboards Project’s (PDP's) data standards following their recent release, according to PDP principal, Chris Curry.

In a blog post on the project website, Curry stated that working with the industry during 2020 had made clear that helping dashboard users to view their estimated retirement income would need particular attention, as there is a lack of uniformity in how different providers and schemes supply this data.

As such, PDP will look to agree and implement a consistent way of providing and displaying a comparable estimated retirement income.

Curry commented: “We will be carrying out user testing via our usability working group to understand how users will respond to different presentations of their data. This is the approach that we will take on initial dashboards, while continuing to work with the Department for Work and Pensions and industry to drive forward the most appropriate solution, so that we ensure that pensions dashboards fulfil their true potential.

“We recognise there’s a balance to strike between finding answers and delivering to our agreed plan. So, we’ll continue to push forward with the agreed find data elements, while we’re working on the solution to the estimated retirement income issue.”

Curry was not alone in recognising the obstacle of estimated retirement income, with Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association director of policy and research, Nigel Peaple, commenting that “some serious challenges remain to ensure that estimated retirement income values are consistent across DB and DC entitlements” as part of his reaction to the publication of the data standards.

The final set of data standards will be published after PDP finds a supplier for the digital architecture of the project, with the procurement process for this taking place in 2021.

Curry continued: “We will continue our research, user testing and evaluation work, particularly around user needs, as well as selecting the first dashboard providers for user testing.

“No doubt there will be further challenges, as we work through this next stage of the programme but we’re looking forward to continuing to find creative solutions. And we end the year, safe in the knowledge that we’ve made great progress, despite all that 2020 has thrown at us.”

PDP published a timeline for the project in October and released its data standards on 15 December, setting out clearly worded definitions of data that pension information holders will be required to provide.

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