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Article | Pensions Briefing

Pensions Dashboards - A delicate balancing act

By Geraldine Brassett | July 20, 2023

Following the ministerial statement, we examine the steps trustees should take to ensure they have a strong planning strategy in place.
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The recent Ministerial Statement has provided some clarity on the way forward for pensions dashboards, and the update to the Pension Regulator’s (TPR) pensions dashboards guidance reinforces the message that Trustees need to continue their preparation for pensions dashboards. 

PASA’s proposal of schemes having a ‘connection ready’ approach also supports this by providing a framework for trustees to work with. 

Trustees are juggling multiple compliance and scheme-specific objectives, including the need to balance implementing pensions dashboards alongside delivering other projects such as finalising GMP rectification and GMP equalisation. And, if that is not challenging enough, they are doing this whilst the demand for experienced, specialist resources outstrips supply. Careful collaborative planning and scheduling is therefore vital for successful delivery.

Although the staging dates for pensions dashboards will no longer be in regulations, in its updated guidance, TPR reinforced the importance of schemes adhering to the staging dates, which are due to be published in guidance later this year as follows:

“The DWP and the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) will publish guidance setting out a staging timeline for schemes, and we will update our guidance accordingly. The staging timeline will indicate when schemes (by size and type) are scheduled to connect.

You must have regard to the guidance put out by the DWP and MaPS”

A phased approach to implementing pensions dashboard is a ‘must’ from a provider perspective.   There is a risk of schemes being non-compliant if, for example, a significant proportion choose to leave their dashboard projects until, say, nine months before the Final Connection Deadline, which we now know to be 31 October 2026. But for most schemes, this is one of multiple projects, and without collaborative planning, the risk remains that other projects are delayed (or further delayed) or only partially completed. And it is important not to lose sight of the fact that GMP projects, for example, are to ensure members are receiving the right benefits, including, for some pensioners and dependants, arrears of pension.

So, how should trustees go about ensuring that they have a robust approach to planning in place? From our perspective, the most important first step is to engage with all providers to have clarity on:

  • The resource that is available
  • Dependencies between projects
  • Whether there are any critical dates and, if so, what they are
  • The decisions that need to be made
  • How members are impacted
  • Risks, including non-compliance
  • The strategy, planning and due diligence activities that can be carried out now

As Shakespeare said, ‘Readiness is all’. As we enter a period of replanning following the Ministerial Statement on pensions dashboards, now more than ever, trustees and administrators need to work closely together to deliver the right outcomes for all members.


Geraldine Brassett
Business Sponsor, Outsourcing, Pensions Dashboard Programme

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