Pension Dashboard  

FCA extends pensions dashboard deadline by two months

FCA extends pensions dashboard deadline by two months
 

FCA regulated pension providers have been given an extra two months to comply with the regulator's pensions dashboard rules.

In the final rules for the regulations published today (November 1), the Financial Conduct Authority said providers will now have until August 31 for implementation, to align with the government’s extension to a deadline on occupational pension schemes.

The FCA has also extended the connection deadline for providers with fewer than 5,000 pots in accumulation and who rely on a third-party integrated service provider to achieve compliance to October 31 2024, as long as they notify the regulator by April 30 next year.

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The City watchdog said this was due to concerns over demand for integrated service solution providers outstripping supply.

Finally, the FCA highlighted feedback that some providers do not currently have information on costs and charges on certain plans available online.

To solve this, the rules now state that where information on costs and charges are not available online, the website must explain clearly to the consumer how they can find these details.

Head of pensions at Aegon, Kate Smith, said the largest pension providers will be included in the first cohort alongside the largest DC pension schemes connecting to the pension dashboard ecosystem, along with master trusts, as expected.

"The general public isn’t expected to be able to access pensions dashboards until the second half of 2024 and by then most pension schemes will have connected to the dashboard ecosystem, giving people a full picture of all their pensions online for the first time," she added.

Earlier this year in its consultation, the FCA said the pensions dashboard rules will increase competition in the advice profession and offer consumers better value for money, as well as promoting informed decision making about their pensions.

The pensions dashboard regulation will see the creation of a digital interface that allows savers to see all their lifetime pension savings in one place, with the data being retrieved directly from providers and updated in real time.

It is hoped this will promote engagement in pensions, and highlight the importance of saving for retirement, as well as help to minimise lost savings.

These lost pots could be worth £26.6bn in total, according to the Pensions Policy Institute.

Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at AJ Bell, said the issue of lost pensions has been exacerbated by a combination of automatic enrolment, frequent job switches and more people moving home, particularly during the pandemic. 

“Each time someone changes job, they will likely get a new pension and risk losing track of their pot, or pots, from previous employers," he said.

"Dashboards should help address this growing problem, although it will still be up to individuals to take the bull by the horns and combine their pensions with a single provider.”

The proposed rules require providers to search their records for matches immediately upon receiving ‘find data’ from the Pension Finder Service, part of the Money and Pensions Service digital architecture.