The Pensions Dashboard Update

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The general election in June 2017 created a break in the Government engagement with the pension dashboard concept. To retain momentum, the Pension Dashboard Prototype Project’s industry contributors agreed to a further project without Government involvement, focusing on four workstreams: consumer research, industry research and further work on data standards and requirements. The findings have been published by the ABI in the document Reconnecting people with their pensions.

Each workstream was led by an industry chair and engaged closely with a wide range of stakeholders.

The Consumer Workstream held workshops with consumer organisations and industry associations, commissioned qualitative consumer research (jointly with the Money Advice Service (MAS)), and held interviews with representatives from countries who have implemented similar services.

The Industry Research Workstream conducted over forty interviews with senior stakeholders from across the industry.

The Data Standards Workstream worked with industry and regulators on refining the data standards and guidelines, as well as on a review of data quality across the industry.

The Service Requirements Workstream developed the requirements for live services.

Following this the project has made 10 key recommendations:

1. All pension providers and schemes must make data available to consumers via regulated third parties, including occupational, personal and public service pension schemes. This compulsion requires a legislative change and a completion date stated by Government.
2. DWP must make data about the State Pension available alongside private pension information from day one.
3. A non-commercial service, endorsed by the Government, must be made available.
4. To enable innovation, the Government must enable an “open pensions” infrastructure that allows consumers to access their data via regulated third parties.
5. Dashboards and any other third party services showing consumers their data must be regulated to ensure consistency. Consumer protection requires legislation to establish one or more new regulated activities, which are most likely to be overseen by the FCA.
6. There must be an implementation plan and timetable, endorsed by Government and industry, including an approach to funding implementation and a major programme of communications.
7. An implementation entity must be charged with delivering the service and its governance. This will include establishing a governance body which oversees the network, establishes and manages data standards, data security, and data sharing agreements and which is sustainably funded.
8. Data must be made available in a standardised digitally consumable format. This needs agreed standards, which are being delivered by industry, but which must be mandated by Government and regulators.
9. An infrastructure must be set up to link schemes to dashboard providers so that consumers can find their pensions. This requires the Government’s backing.
10. An identity assurance scheme must be agreed. This requires a policy decision about the use of Verify in this context.

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