Pensions dashboards expected to launch in 2023

The Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) has published the timeline for the development of the dashboard, which is expected to be available to savers from 2023.

The timeline, published alongside the findings of recent industry research, was agreed following “extensive” engagement with government, regulators, industry, suppliers and consumer advocates.

The PDP, which was set up by the Money and Pensions Service (Maps), confirmed that phase one of the process, programme setup and planning, is underway.

Upcoming steps for this phase include agreeing the architecture of the dashboards, completing procurement for a supplier for the digital architecture and setting the first version of data standards, expected in December 2020.

Phase two, develop and test, will see the PDP working with the chosen suppliers to begin building, integration and testing of the digital architecture, and is expected to commence from 2021.

In 2022, the programme is expected to move to phase three, to connect volunteer pension schemes and providers to the service using real data, before phase 4, stage onboarding, in 2023.

At this point in 2023, schemes and providers will be compelled by both legislation and Financial Conduct Authority rules to connect to the dashboard ecosystem, which is expected to result in “sufficient findable pensions so that dashboards will be ready to be offered to consumers”.

The transition to 'business as usual' has not yet been predicted, although it is expected to see a “high level of coverage” of people’s pensions, meaning that that the service is running in “a steady state” and can transition to a maintenance arrangement.

Commenting on the update, Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, said: “Pensions dashboards will revolutionise retirement saving which is why it’s vital we get them right.

“I’m encouraged by the progress on the project to date, the sensible timetable for development incorporating testing, rigour and refinement, and the continued collaboration driving this forward.

“Bringing information to savers at the touch of a smartphone screen will transform how we all think about and plan our pensions, improving financial resilience for later life.”

The PDP's latest update also included the findings from its recent call for input on data standards, with respondents citing the inclusion of estimated retirement incomes as the most challenging aspect of pension dashboards, and highlighting concerns around the risk of inconsistent statements.

Alongside this, the group have also published findings from the ministerial letter written to schemes in June, with around half of respondents expecting to be able to have some of their data ready within 18 months of standards being set.

The programme confirmed that it will consolidate findings from this industry input and recent research undertaken with PriceWaterhouseCooper in order to publish the first version of the data standards in before the end of the year, as outlined in the core timeline.

PDP principal, Chris Curry, stated: “As we set out a timeline for the delivery of pensions dashboards, which will enable people to see their pensions information online, securely and in one place, we are grateful for the industry’s valuable input to date which has helped us develop a robust roadmap for development.

“While dashboards are a simple concept, the delivery of dashboards will be complex and is reliant on collaboration between the PDP and many other organisations across government, regulators, dashboard providers, pension schemes and providers to complete actions at a specific time.

“Already, through the qualitative research and the call for input, industry has provided useful insight into the challenges of verifying people’s identities and matching them to pensions.

“We are working on defining our requirements for this, which will provide greater clarity. We will continue to work with industry to find and develop robust solutions to these and other challenges.

He added: “The first version of the data standards, which will be published in December, will enable industry to take action and take the next steps in making pensions dashboards a reality.”

The update has also confirmed the creation of a cross-government group called the Portfolio Committee, which is made up of the PDP’s key delivery partners and will ensure the effective management of the programme’s interdependencies.

A Usability Working Group has also been convened to work with the pensions and fintech industries, government, regulatory and consumer representatives, and ensure user input throughout the development of the pensions dashboards.

In addition to this, the update highlighted a number of objectives for the next six months, including finalising requirements and seeking approval to commence the formal procurement for suppliers to deliver the dashboards digital architecture.

The group is also expected to engage with the commercial market to finalise identify verification requirements, develop an onboarding strategy for pension providers and schemes, and identify the first set of volunteer pension schemes and administrators to test the architecture.

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