Government extends pensions dashboard connection deadline

pensions dashboards programmeThe UK government has issued an update on its planned pensions dashboards programme, stating that it needs additional delivery time and its connection deadline will be 31 October 2026.

It stated that this is in recognition of the fact that the requirement to connect to the digital architecture should remain mandatory but pointed out that the point at which dashboards will be accessible to the public could be earlier than this.

The reason for the deadline extension is because more time is needed to deliver the programme, and for the pensions industry to help facilitate the connection of different IT systems to its digital architecture.

As part of its reset, the government has also amended regulations with a new guidance delivery approach in order to allow it to work more collaboratively with the pensions industry. It stated that this will give the programme the flexibility to be completed effectively.

Laura Trott, parliamentary under-secretary for the Department for Work and Pensions, said: “The government remains as committed as ever to making pensions dashboards a reality and we are ambitious about their delivery. I am confident that this re-appraised approach will enable us to make significant progress on delivering dashboards safely and securely, enabling consumers to take advantage of their benefits to plan for retirement.”

Paul McGlone, Society of Pension Professionals’ past president and dashboard lead, added: “The risk of a single end date with only supporting guidance is that we lose crucial momentum because schemes only focus on the end date. Without strong enforcement the industry will face yet another capacity crunch.”

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Jonathan Hawkins, Bravura’s principal consultant and pensions expert, said: “Today’s announcement plays a critical role in tidying up the regulations and legislation around the pension dashboards programme, providing a much-needed element of certainty on the approach at the same time. There is, of course, a worry that legislation differs in gravity from guidance, but it will ultimately be up to the industry to lead by example and the regulators to ensure appropriate carrots and sticks are in place to ensure the updated timelines are adhered to.”

Nigel Peaple, director of policy and advocacy at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, added: “We would highlight that many in the pensions industry would have preferred the new staging timeline to be set out in regulation, as was previously the case, rather than only in guidance, as is now planned. To make this new approach work, it will be necessary for the dashboards programme to work in a very open, transparent and collaborative way such that all parts of the government involved in the project, and all those involved from across the industry, can work together.”