The timetable for pension schemes to be ready to feed into the pension dashboard has been published in a call for input from the Pensions Dashboard Programme out today.
The Department for Work and Pensions has reiterated its commitment that state pension be part of the dashboard functionality from day one in 2023, but the paper indicates that it will not be fully operational until 2025 at the earliest.
FCA regulated providers and master trusts will be first to start feeding into the dashboard, starting in Spring 2023.
The first dashboard will be run by the Money and Pensions Service.
Experts have described the pace of the rollout as both ‘ambitious’ and ‘snail-paced’, highlighting the significant amount of work required by some stakeholders to get their data in order to feed it into the dashboard.
LCP consultant George Currie says: “The PDP’s timeline for onboarding pension schemes and providers to the dashboards ecosystem is undoubtedly ambitious and even 2025 looks challenging. If it delivers find and view functionality for the vast majority of pension entitlements by 2025, this will be a remarkable achievement. However, the scale of preparation required in a relatively short space of time by so many schemes, with vastly different types of entitlement, will be a significant challenge for schemes, who will have to update – and in some cases revolutionise – data management and governance processes to ensure compliance with the timeline. Equally, this timeline is dependent on the successful development, testing, and roll out of the digital architecture of the dashboard’s ecosystem by the PDP over the coming 18 months, a challenge in itself that should not be underestimated”
Aegon head of pensions Kate Smith says: “The first pension dashboard, built by the Money and Pensions Service, is expected to be up and running in 2023, and pension schemes and providers will need to start to connect and share member data with the dashboard from then. The programme has proposed an ambitious timeline with the possibility of 99 per cent of membership coverage within 2 years of the first staging date. And the State pension appears to be on target to onboard from day one.
“Although the DWP and FCA will have the ultimate say on the staging timeline, we applaud the programme’s ambition. We strongly believe that for dashboards to achieve their objective, enabling savers to see all their pension online in one place, that it’s vital to achieve comprehensive coverage as quickly as possible.”
Smart Pension director of policy Darren Philp says: “The timetable is ambitious and there is a lot of work for schemes to do to prepare for the dashboard, but the pieces of the jigsaw are slowly falling into place, which is great news all round. The consultation also reaffirms the Government’s commitment to have state pensions on the dashboard in the first wave which is also crucial to its success.
“While it makes sense for smaller schemes to stage later, we need to ensure that there isn’t undue delay in delivering comprehensive coverage if the dashboard is to achieve its potential. There are tricky issues that need to be resolved and fall into place, not least for public sector schemes given the McCloud judgement, but the prize of a comprehensive pensions dashboard is one worth pursuing.”
AJ Bell senior analyst Tom Selby says: “There is little doubt the Government was wildly optimistic when it suggested Dashboards could be up-and-running in 2019. This is a huge project involving vast amounts of data and with people’s life savings at stake, so the most important thing is ensuring that data is safe and the information people eventually see on Dashboards is reliable.
“While the pace of the outlined timetable is enough to make a snail blush and will frustrate many – not least Government ministers – it is infinitely better than headlines of another IT disaster.
“That said, we hope the Government and the FCA will hold the feet of the laggards to the fire to ensure dashboards become a reality as soon as possible.”
Wave 1 – largest schemes (1,000 + members)
- Starts April 2023 and continues over 2 years.
- Cohort 1 – master trusts and FCA regulated providers – start spring 2023
- Cohort 2 – DC scheme used for auto-enrolment – during 2023
- Cohort 3 – all other occupational schemes – by size. Largest defined benefit scheme to onboard in 2023.
Wave 2 – medium schism (100 – 999 members)
- To start onboarding once the bulk of wave 1 has connected to dashboards
- Expected to be no earlier than 2024
Wave 3 – small and micro schemes (99 or less)
- Timing to be determined