Pension Dashboard  

PLSA calls for 12-month dashboards grace period from regulators

PLSA calls for 12-month dashboards grace period from regulators

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has appealed for “a degree of latitude” from regulators in the months after the pensions dashboards are introduced.

The implementation date for the dashboards stands at June 30 2023 for personal and stakeholder pension scheme providers. Smaller providers and schemes will have a transitional allowance offering a later implementation deadline of October 31 2024. 

In its response to a Financial Conduct Authoruty consultation on pensions dashboards, the PLSA set out “the need for a grace period of 12 months after the public launch of dashboards, where schemes and providers are [afforded] a degree of latitude by regulators”.

The organisation said that the dashboards should not be launched to the public until they meet live testing thresholds over coverage, data matching accuracy, and saver understanding.

The PLSA believes that at least a year of testing will be required from April 2023 onwards before these thresholds are met.

A limited offering could be possible in the first quarter of 2024, which could lead to full deployment in the final quarter of the year, it suggested.

“Dashboard users’ expectations need to be managed. Initial dashboards won’t deliver many features that users might reasonably expect,” the PLSA said. 

“Even those aspects that we would expect to see such as ‘click through’ may not be possible for all onboarding schemes to deliver”.

The PLSA therefore has appealed for the DWP to allow for a 12-month grace period between the connection phase of the dashboards and full deployment.

It also called for closer regulatory alignment between the Pensions Regulator and the Financial Conduct Authority with regards to connecting to and maintaining connection to pensions dashboards. The fines imposed and the reasons for deferring connection differ between TPR and the FCA.

“The PLSA believes that in this case, the FCA has a more proportionate approach to fines for breaches on a handbook basis,” it said. 

“We also believe that the reasons for deferring connection from both TPR and the FCA are applicable to occupational pension schemes and personal pension providers. 

“Alignment between the two regimes is clearly possible to reduce regulatory arbitrage.”

Alex Janiaud is deputy editor at FTAdviser's sister publication Pensions Expert