Pensions minister delays pension dashboard and resets plan

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Pensions minister delays pension dashboard and resets plan
Laura Trott, pensions minister, has reset the pensions dashboard and delayed its implementation further. (Commons portrait)
BySonia Rach

Pensions minister Laura Trott has delayed the implementation of the long-awaited pensions dashboard, causing consternation for pension advisers and consultants.

In an update today (March 2), Trott said more time would be needed to make sure the dashboards comply with the latest regulatory rules and guidance set out in 2022.

She said: “Additional time is required to deliver the complex technical solution to enable the connection of pension providers and schemes, in accordance with the connection deadlines set out in the Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022 and the Financial Conduct Authority’s corresponding pensions dashboard rules for pension providers. 

“More time is needed to deliver this complex build, and for the pensions industry to help facilitate the successful connection of a wide range of different IT systems to the dashboards digital architecture.”

The lack of a firm new timetable will leave industry in limbo and this uncertainty must be resolved as soon as possible.

She added: “Given these delays, I have initiated a reset of the Pensions Dashboards Programme in which DWP will play a full role. The new chair of the Programme Board will develop a new plan for delivery.”

The move further delays the dashboard - which had originally been scheduled for a go-live in 2019. 

In November last year, the Financial Conduct Authority said regulated pension providers would have an extra two months to comply with the regulator's pensions dashboard rules.

At the time, the FCA said providers would have until August 31 for implementation, to align with the government’s extension to a deadline on occupational pension schemes.

The pensions dashboard idea was introduced to allow individuals to view information about their pensions, including state pension, in one place online and put savers in control.

It will help reconnect individuals with their lost pension pots, such as where a pension scheme has lost contact with a member - transforming how consumers think and plan for their retirement.

Trott said the project is a “significant undertaking”, requiring the development of new technology that will permit individuals to find their pensions by searching thousands of pension schemes which collectively hold millions of pensions records. 

Fit for purpose

Currently under the supervision of the Money and Pensions Service, the Pensions Dashboards Programme is responsible for delivering the digital architecture which underpins pensions dashboards. 

She explained that the framework set out in the regulations for pensions dashboards remains fit for purpose and argued that DWP will legislate to amend the timing of these obligations to provide clarity to schemes. 

“We will ensure the pensions industry has adequate time and the necessary technical information to prepare for any revised connection deadlines,” she said. 

“I will provide a further update to the House before summer recess.”