Pensions Regulator  

Pension regulator to issue fresh dashboards guidance in May

Pension regulator to issue fresh dashboards guidance in May
Charlie Bibby/FT

The Pensions Regulator will publish guidance on pensions dashboards to support trustees and scheme managers in early May, it has revealed.

At a seminar led by the Pensions Dashboards Programme on April 27, the watchdog also said that nudge communications to all schemes would begin at least a year before their staging dates, with these being aimed at pension trustees and public service pension scheme managers.

TPR’s guidance will be updated in November once the DWP’s consultation response to regulations for the initiative has been published.

The PDP, meanwhile, plans to consult on standards that it is devising for participants, which it will share after the consultation response has been released “and policy is in a relatively stable state”, PDP principal Chris Curry said.

It confirmed that the architecture for dashboards is largely in place and will be fully connected by the end of May.

Guidance will follow draft regulations 

Around 3,000 schemes fall in scope of the DWP’s draft regulations for the dashboards initiative.

The DWP is expected to publish its consultation response on the regulations early in the summer. Legislation will follow when there is space in the parliamentary timetable.

TPR policy lead Lucy Stone told the PDP seminar that a communications campaign would be launched, while the regulator will also work closely with industry in order to ensure that compliance with the initiative is achieved.

“We are also looking at how we are going to in practice monitor and enforce compliance with the duties when they go live,” she said.

The watchdog is set to receive new powers as part of the dashboard regulations that will allow it to issue compliance and penalty notices, as well as make use of existing information-gathering powers for investigations and the ability to remove and replace trustees.

“We are going to be producing products to help trustees and scheme managers to understand their duties and what they need to do to comply with these,” Stone said.

“We are going to publish some initial guidance in May, and we are going to be updating it throughout the year, in particular November when the regulations are firmed up and PDP’s standards have been through consultation and are confirmed.”

The watchdog will also publish a compliance and enforcement policy for consultation, which it described as “pragmatic but robust with wilful non-compliance”.

“There is no excuse not to try and do this, and we will not take fondly to people who take that attitude,” Stone said.

PDP to consult on standards in summer

The PDP is developing standards and guidance that participants will implement, concerning data, reporting, design and technical aspects of the initiative.

It is also devising a “code of connection”, which covers standards for connection to the ecosystem. These comprise security, testing, operational and service standards.