Maps launches pensions dashboards data standards consultation

The Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP), part of the Money and Pensions Service (Maps), has launched a consultation on data standards for the pensions dashboards.

The consultation, which was initially scheduled for earlier this year but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, has an input deadline of 31 August.

The specific data standards that the consultation will seek input from the industry regarding were laid out in April, when the PDP and Maps published two working papers on the potential scope and definition for data standards for an “initial dashboard”, alongside a progress report on the project.

Commenting on the launch of the consultation, Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, said: “The data standards will set out the information that pension providers and schemes will be required to show their customers and members via dashboards, and the format in which data will have to be supplied.

“The legislative framework that will underpin delivery of dashboards has rightly attracted parliamentary scrutiny during the passage of the Pensions Schemes Bill. I want to ensure we get this right. I want to engage with the industry to understand how the legal requirements will operate in practice.”

Relevant parties who wish to contribute to the consultation can do so through a survey, which is available for download on the PDP website.

Opperman said he had already written to a number of large schemes to assess the readiness of their data, noting that it was “in everyone’s interest that all relevant pension organisations are preparing their systems and data now, to help ensure the dashboards launch successfully”.

Smart Pension director of policy, Darren Philp, said: “Clear and comprehensive data standards are vital to underpin the dashboard architecture, so this consultation is a very welcome next step in developing the pensions dashboard. Agreeing these will allow schemes and providers to plan and develop their data strategies to be dashboard ready.

“It's taken a while to get to this phase, but we are hopeful that this consultation marks the beginning of an acceleration in the work of the dashboard project and gives much needed impetus to the project as a whole.”

PensionBee head of corporate development, Clare Reilly, said the provider’s analysis from earlier in the year indicated that “pension savers would only locate 61 per cent of their pensions when they log in to the pensions dashboards for the first time unless drastic data cleansing actions are undertaken by the pensions industry”.

She added: “By the time it launches, we believe savers will have waited more than 20 years for a dashboard so it needs to be fit for purpose from day one. The reputation and future of pensions depend on it.”

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