Pensions Dashboards 2023 timeframe potentially under threat

22 March 2021

A letter from the President of the Society of Pension Professionals (SPP), sent to the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP), stated that there are seven ‘priority areas’ where members believe that additional clarity is required for the programme to be a success, and for it to reach the ‘go live’ deadline of 2023.

James Riley, the current SPP President, and his predecessor, Paul McGlone, produced the letter, for the attention of PDP Principal, Chris Curry, and confirmed that the pensions industry was anxious about the possibility of the timeframe for the dashboards going live in 2023 not being met, unless further clarity is provided in certain areas as a matter of urgency.

The SPP asserted that more details were required in relation to calculations, particularly on some of the more complicated areas, for example, estimated retirement income. The SPP felt that better definitions would help in this area, as these calculations do not tend to be automated in the majority of schemes, and results aren’t currently available for sharing on the dashboards.

The way in which information is communicated between schemes and administrators, and the different sections of the dashboard environment are also “undefined”, and IT solutions need to be established. They also need to be tested so that it is ensured that the various contact points run both seamlessly and securely.

The Financial Times reported that the SPP also advised that there needs to be an “industry-wide solution”, in addition to further information on how to pair savers with scheme records. They said that, at present, there are no clear guidelines on how the matching process will work and suggested that if schemes or administrators were expected to apply their own individual rules, then it would be “highly inefficient” and would result in different standards running throughout the industry. The letter also discussed issues with partial matches, where a scheme may discover a record that is similar, but not identical to, a member’s.

There was also a focus on legal issues, as the SPP stated that schemes and administrators would want confirmation that any problems with the dashboard’s structure, which could potentially lead to data breaches or inaccurate information being provided, would not end with them being held accountable for any losses or claims.

The letter also commented on the wide timescales surrounding the roll out of the dashboards, which provide no real clarity over what the duties of schemes and administrators are, and when they have to be met. Additionally, there is no detail regarding how any staging will work and whether all of the duties have to be met at once, or if they can be fulfilled over time.

The SPP felt that more needs to be done to “call individual schemes to action” and suggested that there was a poor level of understanding of the dashboards at scheme level.

Although the letter centred predominantly on the concerns that Riley and McGlone have, they did also state that they were grateful to those involved with the pensions dashboards development programme, and offered their services in terms of assisting with further development and engagement.


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