PLSA calls for caution in its response to the FCA’s dashboards framework proposals

The PLSA has stated that pension dashboards need to be able to “walk before they can run” in its response to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) consultation on proposed rules for pension providers.

Whilst outlining its support for pensions dashboards as a tool, stating that the PLSA believes they “could play a fuller role in supporting effective decision making by savers”, the response also outlined areas where the PLSA felt the regulatory framework was inadequate.

One of the areas mentioned in the response was alignment of regulatory regimes, as the association detailed that the application of fines and the reasons for deferring connection between The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the FCA was not necessary, as there was room for alignment of rules for connecting to dashboards to reduce regulatory arbitrage.

The staging was also an issue raised by the PLSA, as it believed that the existing timeline was not realistic for all pension schemes due to their “reliance” on third party administrators and ISPs.

The PLSA added that its discussions with schemes suggested that some are not at all confident in meeting their staging window.

Data matching was also outlined in the response as a critical issue, with the association pointing to the fact that schemes have limited control over the ongoing accuracy of personal data items to suggest that the ICO must set out its policy for regulating how schemes take these ‘balancing’ decisions.

The PLSA also mentioned the issue of liability waiver wording, believing that all dashboards must clearly indicate that the figures displayed are indicative and as such schemes are absolved of all liability for actions taken by savers in respect to them.

The ongoing costs of compliance and the ecosystem was raised as an issue, with the PLSA stating that it was essential that the amount of government spending for the central digital architecture was clarified beyond those stated in the FCA’s cost benefits analysis.

The response concluded: “The key to the success of pensions dashboards will be ensuring they are useful and understandable by savers at public launch.”

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