Programme activity for April to October 2022
In July, DWP published its response to the consultation on draft regulations for pensions dashboards. The draft regulations, which were laid in Parliament in October 2022, will provide the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) with the authority to set standards for pensions dashboards.
In July and August, the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) undertook a 6 week consultation on draft versions of data standards, technical standards and reporting standards. PDP also sought industry input on a draft code of connection to the pensions dashboards ecosystem, early connection guidance and our approach to the governance of standards. The consultation received 56 responses from across industry. The insights gained from the feedback will be used to further develop these standards.
In the winter, PDP will be publishing the updated draft of these standards for pension providers and schemes, as well as dashboard providers, which set out the technical and operational detail underpinning the dashboards legislation and rules. Once the dashboards regulations have been approved by Parliament and come into force, MaPS will formally seek approval from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for these to be the mandatory standards under the regulations.
Design standards call for input
Design standards will set out the requirements for the look of dashboards and how pensions information is presented to users. This is to ensure a consistent experience for users, no matter which dashboard they choose to use. As well as being a legal responsibility for dashboard providers, pension providers and schemes who are preparing their data will also need to understand how pensions information will be presented to dashboard users.
Alongside the consultation on standards, PDP ran a call for input on the design standards, seeking industry input before producing a draft for consultation. The draft design standards will also be informed by user research and engagement with stakeholders. The consultation on the draft design standards will run alongside the consultation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on the authorisation and conduct rules that they intend to put in place for firms who wish to provide a pensions dashboard.
The technology build for the central digital architecture has been delivered by Capgemini and their subcontractor Origo.
PDP is working closely with Capgemini to complete final assurances. This will include a focus on confirming that sufficient testing has been carried out to enable real pensions data to be used with the technology. We will also ensure that all required security, functional and other requirements have been met within the solution.
April 2022 marked one year until the first connection window opens for large Master Trusts and most personal and stakeholder pension schemes to connect to dashboards. As such, programme activity to support wider industry readiness has increased.
We continue to run regular webinars to support understanding of our pensions dashboards standards and how pension providers and schemes can prepare for connection. We have also engaged through presenting at industry events including the PLSA Annual Conference, the Open Banking Expo and TPR’s pensions dashboards webinar. You can find and register for our speaker events on our events and meetings page.
Some of the early participants we have been working with have supported this work by sharing key learnings from their experience and advice on how others can prepare. PDP has also produced regular videos explaining pensions dashboards, the different components of the ecosystem and standards for dashboards, along with other useful guidance.
In order to progress to the next stages of testing and to prepare for compulsory staging we identified and selected a larger group of early participants – including the initial 7 – who all began the connection process in October. They will be working towards completion ahead of the April connection window opening.
Willingness to pay research
PDP commissioned Ipsos to undertake research into a potential willingness to pay for pensions dashboards, as part of establishing a potential value of dashboards to the taxpayer. The research found that almost half of those surveyed would be willing to pay £5 per year for dashboards, despite dashboards being a free service. The research did not ask about lower amounts, so it is not known if more people would be willing to pay an amount less than £5.
Alongside willingness to pay, Ipsos surveyed people to understand the likelihood that they would use dashboards. Around 57% of people said that they would be very or fairly likely to use dashboards if they were available now. More than 6 in 10 of those people who had not accessed their pensions said that they were likely to use dashboards. The likelihood to use pensions dashboards increases with the number of pensions, with 80% of those with three or more private pensions saying that they would use dashboards.
Ipsos also conducted research to understand how many private pensions – including occupational, personal and stakeholder pension schemes – people held in addition to the State Pension. More than 81% of those surveyed have at least 1 private pension. This means that a large majority of people have multiple pensions which they would be able to view in one place on a dashboard.