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DWP Pensions Dashboards paper confirms delegated access for FCA authorised financial advisers

4 April 2019

Individuals will be able to delegate access to their pension dashboards to FCA authorised financial advisers, the DWP Pensions Dashboards paper has confirmed.

The Government response to the consultation it initiated last year, stated it supported the ‘guidance and advice process through the provision of delegated access’, whilst determining strong controls for consumer protection.

The paper said: “This means that if a consumer chose to provide a screen print or PDF to an authorised independent financial adviser then any investment advice given by that adviser (whether or not this is based on the information obtained from the dashboard), would be a regulated activity. Therefore, the corresponding protections associated with that activity will apply.” It stated, “the same protections also apply if a consumer chooses to use the delegated access function.”

Other key details from the paper include:

  • A commitment from government to legislate at the earliest opportunity to compel all pension providers to make consumers’ data available via dashboards. However, schemes would be brought on to the dashboards in stages, starting with the largest DC providers.
  • The majority of schemes to be data ready within 3-4 years
  • State pension information would be included but not immediately.

Primarily, the dashboard project is about enabling individuals to find and view all their pensions in one place, thereby increasing engagement and enabling people to better plan for their retirement future.

The practical steps necessary to implement the Pensions Dashboards, are to start with the establishment by the end of the summer of an industry delivery group under the Single Finance Guidance Body (SFGB).

A non-commercial dashboard will be delivered and overseen by the SFGB but the project allowed for multiple commercial dashboards, presenting information in an easy-to-use and uniform manner to consumers.

Government said the priorities for the industry delivery group in 2019 are:

  • Create a clear and comprehensive roadmap for delivering the digital architecture for dashboards.
  • Work with industry on setting data standards to both provide clarity to schemes and to feed the results of user testing into the creation of standards which allow consumer facing dashboards to work.
  • Design a robust governance and security framework to enable information to be supplied by schemes to consumers via dashboards.
  • Work with industry on their readiness to provide data via dashboards

Dashboards would have to go through user research and testing to better inform on the data which needed to be displayed and the standards needed to be set by the delivery group. The first industry models are expected to be delivered this year.

Anthony Rafferty, managing director of the FinTech Origo, one of the firms which delivered the dashboard prototype project, said the DWP’s paper was “the expected and positive step forward to establishing Dashboards for citizens. Government tested its proposals with the industry, consumer groups and other interested parties, and 125 organisations gave feedback, the ‘vast majority’ of which agreed with the suggested approach.”

The delivery group, under the SFGB, he said, now has the task of putting in place the architecture that will be needed to make it a reality. “It is important that the dashboard project has robust governance and security to protect the individual.”

Rafferty added: “Origo has taken a leading role in the project from the start and we quickly demonstrated how the technology could meet the government’s policy intent and objectives. We have built and scale-tested the central components and believe that the digital architecture can be deployed quickly to meet the stated timescales.”

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