PLSA publishes industry guide for making dashboards ‘a success’

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has published an industry guide that outlines the issues that need to be overcome to enable the initial pensions dashboards to be a success.

The guide, named Pensions Dashboards A-Z, identified 26 ‘key’ issues, labelled from A to Z, that it believes need to be resolved to make the initial pensions dashboards hit the ground running.

It urged the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Money and Pensions Service (Maps), regulators, administrators, technology providers, pension providers and schemes to work together to resolve the issues.

The PLSA noted that there were seven areas in particular that needed addressing.

It called for the testing and managing of saver’s understanding of the information they will see on dashboards when they are launched, describing the testing results as “key’ in defining the display standards for dashboards.

Furthermore, the PLSA stated that all administrators and technology providers needed to be able to see and understand published details of how they must connect with the central digital architecture, and with dashboards, including all necessary technical and security specifications and standards.

Schemes also need to be confident that they can continue to comply with all existing GDPR requirements, it said, while a clear statement of guidance on this by the Information Commissioner’s Officer would be “very helpful”.

The organisation called for clarity on the liability regime, noting there were two aspects that needed to be clearer: not found pensions and pension amounts returned.

“Schemes need to have certainty where legal financial responsibility will rest should users take action, or fail to take action, in light of their pensions not being shown and/or the pension amounts they see,” the PLSA noted.

It added that schemes need certainty on the pension amount data to be returned after a pension if found, as well as a detailed definition of these amounts, how quickly their ISPs are required to return the required data, and how recent those figures should be.

Clarity on the timeline was also called for, alongside a regulation of data provision.

Commenting on the publication, PLSA director of policy and advocacy, Nigel Peaple, said: “Successfully delivering dashboards presents many significant challenges and there is much to be resolved in a short amount of time.

“We hope our guide will help the many hundreds, if not thousands, of people engaged with preparing for pensions dashboards better understand the key issues to be assessed and resolved.

“We know DWP, Maps’ Pensions Dashboards Programme and others are busy working on the issues we highlight here. The sooner the pensions industry has clarity on the seven key issues highlighted here, the sooner progress can be made.”

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