The Society of Pension Professionals (SPP), in its response to the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) further consultation, has requested that the industry be made aware of an “expected available dashboards point” (DAP) at least 12 months in advance on the draft Pensions Dashboards Regulations.
In its response, the SPP highlighted three areas that needed improvement in the proposed rules, with a focus on establishing a DAP.
The first area concerned the DAPs themselves, as the Society argued that with a 12 month deadline, there should be at least 6 months for final confirmation to ensure that definitive agreements can be reached.
If that 6 months is not granted, there is a risk that members will be affected as services will be disrupted and the provision of pensions dashboards can also risk being seen as ragged and chaotic, the SPP warned.
The SPP also reported that it expects a widespread announcement of the expected DAP so that all vendors know the date to ensure a level playing field for all parts of the industry.
Incremental DAPs were the Society’s second concern, as it argued that it was critical that any incremental DAP approach was not costly, complex or potentially counterproductive, and that this could be achieved if access was linked to an essential data element such as that Date of birth of an individual and is operated by the central pension finder service.
The SPP also said it does not consider that the timing for incremental DAPs may be long, as new members may be granted access 2 to 4 weeks apart over a period of perhaps 3 to 6 months.
Finally, DAP and Qualifying Pensions Dashboard Services (QPDS) was the last area of concern for society as they felt that to ensure fairness there should be an equal opportunity for providers wishing to be a QPDS to to obtain approval before the DAP.
The SPP offered a solution to this statement that the DWP and FCA must work together to agree the DAP and to ensure that no provider is given an unfair advantage over others, the DWP should confirm their timetables for DAP and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) publicly confirm that applications received by a specific date will be completed before the DAP.
SPP Legislative Committee Chair Mark Bondi commented: “The Society of Pension Professionals remains very supportive of the Pensions Dashboard. Properly determining the Dashboards availability point, however, will be central to the eventual, proper adoption of Dashboards for retirement savers.
“The retirement industry needs at least 12 months advance notice of an expected Dashboards availability point to ensure the industry is in the final stages of preparing for an effective rollout, while phased rollouts for different groups of retirement savers can make the key moment more manageable.
“As an industry, we will continue to work with regulators to refine these final staging details and ultimately deliver the successful launch of the Dashboards project.”