TPR publishes dashboards guidance and warns trustees ‘your deadline is coming’

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has launched a new campaign urging trustees to start preparing for the pensions dashboards deadline and published new guidance based on the draft regulations published by the government.

The ‘Deadline’ campaign has been launched following research from TPR that found trustees are yet to get their preparations “sufficiently underway” and are at risk of failing to meet their legal pensions dashboards duties.

TPR hopes that its new guidance will help trustees meet these responsibilities in time for the launch of dashboards.

It stated that robust and accessible data and failsafe systems were essential to ensuring that pensions dashboards offer savers the information they need to make informed decisions about their retirement savings.

According to research from the regulator, 51 per cent of defined contribution (DC) and 33 per cent of defined benefit (DB) schemes continue to hold at least some member records non-electronically, while just 4 per cent of DC and 9 per cent of DB schemes have begun to digitise the information they hold in preparation for dashboards.

Furthermore, just 37 per cent of schemes have discussed pensions dashboards at their trustee board meetings, while a similar proportion have engaged with their administrators about their scheme data.

“Clear pensions information at the touch of a button will ensure savers are better informed and more engaged and will help people plan more effectively for retirement,” commented Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman.

"It's vital providers are preparing for their introduction and I urge them to take action now if they have not done so already."

In its guidance, TPR has urged trustees to check their connection deadline, have dashboards firmly on their board agendas, decide how they will connect, and take stock and digitise their data.

The regulator also called on trustees, scheme managers and administrators to attend a pensions dashboards webinar on 28 July.

More detailed and up-to-date guidance will be published by TPR later this year, and will reflect the final regulations and technical standards being developed by the Money and Pensions Service (Maps).

“Schemes should be taking action now - their connection deadline is coming,” said TPR director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice, David Fairs.

“Pensions dashboards are a hugely innovative tool that will enable savers to see their pensions in one place. It is a crucial step forward in helping savers to get to know their pensions, make good decisions and plan for the retirement they want.

“In line with our corporate strategy, we embrace innovation and we are committed to making dashboards work so that savers have a complete and accurate picture of their savings. We know this is a significant undertaking for industry and so we will be rolling out a comprehensive programme of support in the months ahead.

“Pensions dashboards are coming. Trustees will have legal duties they must be ready for. We will take a dim view of trustees who carelessly fail to prioritise their dashboard responsibilities.”

Pensions Dashboards Programme principal, Chris Curry, added: "This guidance is another important tool to help industry prepare for connection. We know that many still have more to do in preparing their data, setting up the right team and getting ready for dashboards and there is plenty of support out there to help with these tasks.

“Over the coming months both TPR and the Pensions Dashboards Programme will be providing further information and support on how to prepare for connection and I would encourage everyone to engage as early as possible with this information to help them prepare.”

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