DWP issues new pensions update with major changes set to hit this year | Personal Finance | Finance

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released a major update on its pension dashboard plan, including when it should be finished.

The pension dashboards will let people see all their pension details, like workplace, private and state pension, for free, online in one place. The dashboard will also help Brits find lost or forgotten pension pots.

According to an update from the department this week, the first connections to the national pensions dashboard are set to start in August 2024. Larger pension schemes – those with 20,000 or more members – are expected to have finished connecting by the end of April 2025.

More larger schemes will then connect throughout the rest of 2025.

Medium schemes, with 100 to 1,000 members, are expected to connect across 2026 with the final deadline of September 20, 2026. Lastly, all schemes will have to be legally connected to the dashboard system by October 31, 2026 at the latest, reports the Mirror.

Pensions minister Paul Maynard has made it clear that there’s been “significant progress” on the pensions dashboards after a reset in early 2023. He stated: “The government is absolutely committed to delivering pensions dashboards safely and securely to the public at the earliest opportunity. The publication of the connection timetable marks a significant milestone towards launching pensions dashboards, and takes us closer to introducing a service that has the potential to transform how individuals plan for retirement.”

He also mentioned: “Whilst the timetable is not mandatory, it is a legal requirement that trustees or managers of occupational pension schemes and providers of personal and stakeholder pensions have regard to this guidance.”

Chris Curry, who leads the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP), said they will keep working with the industry as they get ready for the first connections.

Curry added: “Pensions dashboards will be a crucial tool to support retirement planning. By showing people’s pensions together in one, online and secure place, they will boost pension engagement, benefiting individuals and industry. Delivering dashboards is complex, and I’m continually grateful for the spirit of cooperation across Government, regulators and industry. The timetable for connection is an important step on the journey to making dashboards a reality.”

The plan for the pensions dashboard was first introduced in 2015 and was initially set to launch in 2019. However, due to technical issues, the launch date has been pushed back several times, with the latest estimate being August 2023.

Kate Smith, who is in charge of pensions at Aegon, expressed her approval of the update, stating that it finally confirms that the pensions dashboard is now a reality. She said: “As expected, the largest pension schemes, including the largest master trusts and largest FCA-regulated pension providers will be expected to connect to the pension dashboard ecosystem by the end of April 2025. The remaining schemes will connect in order of size with the expectation that all schemes will have connected by October 31, 2026.”

“We hope that all schemes will follow the guidance, to ensure connection is carried out in an orderly manner avoiding ‘last minute’ connections and potential log jams. The pension dashboard programme and Government will need to monitor this closely.”

You can read the DWP full pensions dashboards guidance here.

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