DWP has released a written ministerial statement that affects the connection deadline for pensions dashboards.
Addition guidance will be published in due course.

 
Published by: Heywood Pension Technologies  

Heywood Pension Technologies, one of our alpha participants, recently hosted a webinar with the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP). Chris Connelly, Heywood’s Head of Propositions and Paul Noone, PDP’s Head of Onboarding, were on the panel. The recording can be viewed on our event page.

Heywood Pension Technologies give us a summary of the main topics discussed:

Comply

Earlier in the year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published its consultation on the draft Pensions Dashboards Regulations. The final Regulations are on track to be laid before parliament rises for summer recess, becoming law later in the year.

You hopefully already have a good idea of when your staging date is, and by the end of July, you will know whether it has changed or not following the recent consultation.

This staging date is when the scheme must connect to pensions dashboards. Failing to comply could result in a fine of up to £50,000 being applied by The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

Connect

This leads us nicely on to what a scheme must do to connect to the pensions dashboards eocosystem. Pension providers and schemes have two options:

  1. Build something themselves to connect their scheme, or connect through a third party, or
  2. Use their system providers’, Integrated Service Provider (ISP) solution or administrator to connect

Both options must comply with the pensions dashboards standards, including the data, design and technical standards.

“I would encourage you to be having early discussions with your software providers around their plans for enabling you to connect”. Paul Noone.

Prepare

So now we know the bar that we need to clear and when we need to be ready, we can step back to look at the run up.

The first thing you can do is start discussions with your software provider or administrator and raise the subject of pensions dashboards with your Trustees or pension committees.

Most importantly, start to look at your data, the find data used to match consumers to their pension entitlements and the value data which will display their pension entitlements on the dashboard.

“Based on user research, it’s important that consumers have high levels of confidence in the values they see on the dashboard, otherwise the credibility of the dashboard is likely to be dented”. Paul Noone.

To make sure that the information you hold for your members is accurate, up to date and in a digital format, you also need to start thinking about what data you will use to respond to find requests and match members to their pension entitlements. It’s likely to be a combination of NINO, DoB, surname, previous surname, and current and previous post codes.

“Data has to be right, not just present” Chris Connelly.

TPR has issued guidance on data matching conventions, building on PASA’s work in this area which we’ve helped to draft. The schemes data matching convention (DMC) is an important balancing act, to avoid fines from either the ICO if the DMC results in false positives or from TPR if there are too many maybe matches, or no matches reported.

And then what?

The staging date is not the finish line.

“Once you are on, you’re always on” Chris Connelly.

Good quality data is the lifeblood of pensions administration and the pensions dashboard. Everything you do about getting your data dashboard ready for your staging date, must be there 24/7, 365 days thereafter.

What is the takeaway message? “Make a start. Then keep on going!