The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has warned pension trustees that they need to prepare now for the arrival of Pensions Dashboards amid signs few are ready.
The largest schemes are expected to connect to the pilot dashboards system from June next year and TPR is to write to them to alert them to their connection deadline and what they need to do.
The Pensions Regulator has also launched a new campaign and new guidance to alert all trustees to the changes ahead so they can prepare.
The “Deadline” campaign is being launched as the TPR’s research warns that trustees have yet to get their preparations “sufficiently underway.” The TPR says that trustees are at risk of failing to meet their legal Pensions Dashboards responsibilities.
Government-backed Pensions Dashboards will give pension savers an ‘all in one’ online source for information on their retirement plans.
The TPR’s new guidance is based on draft regulations recently consulted on by the Department for Work and Pensions.
According to TPR research, 51% of Defined Contribution (DC) schemes and 33% of Defined Benefit (DB) schemes continue to hold at least some member records non-electronically and just 4% of Defined Contribution (DC) schemes and 9% of Defined Benefit (DB) schemes have begun to digitise the information they hold in preparation for Pensions Dashboards.
Only 37% of DC and DB schemes have discussed Pensions Dashboards at their scheme’s trustee board meeting and only a similar proportion have engaged with their administrator about their scheme’s data.
Pensions Minister Guy Opperman said: “Clear pensions information at the touch of a button will ensure savers are better informed and more engaged and will help people plan more effectively for retirement. It’s vital providers are preparing for their introduction and I urge them to take action now if they have not done so already.”
TPR’s director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice David Fairs said: “Schemes should be taking action now – their connection deadline is coming. Pensions Dashboards are a hugely innovative tool that will enable savers to see their pensions in one place. It is a crucial step forward in helping savers to get to know their pensions, make good decisions and plan for the retirement they want.
“In line with our corporate strategy, we embrace innovation and we are committed to making dashboards work so that savers have a complete and accurate picture of their savings. We know this is a significant undertaking for the industry and so we will be rolling out a comprehensive programme of support in the months ahead.”
Mr Fairs added: “Pensions Dashboards are coming. Trustees will have legal duties they must be ready for. We will take a dim view of trustees who carelessly fail to prioritise their dashboard responsibilities.”