Key data standards have been published by the Pensions Dashboard Programme, which will underpin the technology used to deliver this service.
While this news has been widely welcomed by the industry, some warn it will also prove to be a ‘wake up call’ for schemes who have yet to face the reality of digitising data ahead of the 2023 launch.
UK pension providers will be required to ensure that the data they hold is consistent with the data standards, so that consumers can access this information safely and compare details of different pensions.
The basic information that pension providers will supply to the initial pensions dashboards will include:
- Find data: to access dashboards, users will need to share their personal data via an identity service, so they can be matched to the pensions they hold. Find data that pension providers will need to match against includes information such as a person’s first name and surname, date of birth, address and national insurance number.
- View data: once the person’s identity has been verified, the pension provider(s) will display information about any pensions found to the user via their chosen dashboard. This will include details such as a person’s pension arrangement and the name of the pension provider.
- Income data: this will provide the individual with an estimated retirement income and the date payable for each pension; as well as the current value of a person’s pension pot if they have defined contribution pension(s).
UK-based state and private pensions, including in the public sector, will be included in the first iteration of pensions dashboards.
Chris Curry, principal of the Pensions Dashboards Programme at the Money and Pensions Service says: “Data standards are central to ensuring that pension dashboards display a clear and accurate picture of an individual’s pension savings.
“This makes it essential that pension providers ensure that their data is ready for connection to pensions dashboards when it is required, in the near future.
“We have published these standards after robust collaboration with the pensions industry, regulators and government to better understand the potential data challenges that different types of providers might encounter, which has all been factored into potential solutions.”
He adds: “We are committed to dashboards fulfilling their true potential, but we also need to begin at a realistic starting point, which is the find and view data requirements we’re setting out now.”
Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Guy Opperman, adds: “Getting data standards right is vital, to realise the full potential of pension dashboards. The publication of key data standards is therefore an important and welcome step.
“I’m encouraged by the progress to date and the continued collaboration driving it forward.”
Opperman adds: “I am ambitious for the future of dashboards, as a place where people can easily see what they can expect at retirement, and the value their current providers are giving them.My message to pension providers remains, get dashboard data ready.”
Pension administration EQ Paymaster chief executive Duncan Watson says the publication of these data standards should set alarm bells ringing for schemes yet to face the reality of the work required ahead of 2023.
He says: “The data elements published today are a wake-up call for pension schemes refusing to take their future data obligations seriously or delaying their preparations for the dashboard. At a bare minimum, schemes need to make sure that all the pensions they are responsible for are automatically accessible, personal data items are wholly accurate and accrued pension entitlement value is available on every single record.”
“The dashboard should not be seen as a one-off project for schemes to achieve a bare minimum tick in a box. It should prompt a fundamental change in attitude to how they treat data all of the time which has long been neglected by many in the industry. The bar for data quality is set to rise.”
The data standards usage guide is available here. The PDP will be running webinars in 2021 with pension providers to outline data standards in more detail.