The Department for Work and Pensions has today announced a delay to the connection deadlines for the Pensions Dashboards. Master trusts with 20,000+ relevant members were originally expecting to connect by 31 August 2023 and money purchase schemes used for automatic enrolment with 20,000+ relevant members by 30 September 2023.
However, those deadlines will no longer apply and there is currently no update as to the new timetable. The Parliamentary Under Secretary for Pensions, Laura Trott, has said that she will provide a further update to the House before summer recess, provisionally set as 20 July 2023. The reason for the delay appears to be systems related as opposed to human. The statement says that "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". However, whilst the DWP will legislate to prescribe new connection deadlines, the framework and legal requirements for dashboards remain unchanged.
Whilst the Minister has confirmed that the pensions industry will have adequate time and the necessary technical information to prepare for any revised connection deadlines, trustees would be well advised to take the extra time to cleanse their data and, in particular, to resolve any uncertainty as to how scheme benefits should be calculated under the scheme rules. That way they can be certain that any value data that will eventually be provided through the Pensions Dashboards is accurate, calculated in line with the legal requirements and sufficiently recent, as required by the Pensions Regulator's initial guidance.
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.