By Louise Davey, TPR’s Interim Director of Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice

Approaching a large project can be daunting at the best of times. We know that we need to clear space in the diary and just get started, but it’s not always that easy. Other tasks need attention. That big project keeps falling down the list, and if its delivery date is months or even years in the future, then putting it off becomes even easier.

But procrastination can cause problems down the track. Sometimes we assume that projects won’t take as long as they really will. This can lead to a false sense of security – we think there’s plenty of time to meet a deadline, but then it’s suddenly upon us.

Pensions dashboards are a true innovation, which will enhance the pensions system, protect savers and revolutionise how they interact with their pensions. The staged timetable for connection will provide clarity on when schemes are expected to connect and will be released in due course.

But preparation will take time. There’s significant work schemes can do now, to ensure savers can find their pensions and receive accurate value information. Schemes mustn’t down tools and lose sight of this while they wait for their target connection dates.

Breaking down pensions dashboards tasks

The work involved for schemes to prepare for dashboards duties can seem overwhelming. But breaking elements of a big project into bite-sized chunks is a tried and tested approach to getting started, and TPR are here to help. That’s where the dashboards preparation checklist comes in. It’s a simple tool, which can be used to collaborate with third parties such as administrators to keep preparations on track and agree responsibility for specific tasks.

The checklist helps to simplify the steps to take. It explains which actions schemes should already be working on, such as exploring a route to connection. And it helps to map out the real nuts and bolts of dashboards preparation – the data tasks.

How TPR’s checklist can help with pensions dashboards data tasks

Data is the lifeblood of a pension scheme; improving member data will have significant benefits beyond pensions dashboards. The checklist will get schemes on the right track to ensure that key data points are accurate, not just present. Beyond data tasks, the checklist features ongoing actions to work through, which will help schemes stay up to date, keep their teams focused, and record progress.

While schemes wait for the connection timetable, they can get started on the first four tasks to match people with their pensions.

The matching data section within the checklist allows schemes to tick off key milestones, such as understanding what personal data they’ll receive from dashboards – and making plans to improve this data if needed.

Helping schemes to achieve their pensions dashboards goals

Trustees and managers have new legal duties under the dashboard regulations, and TPR have published guidance to support them in meeting these. DWP will also publish guidance of the staging timetable, which trustees must take into account when preparing for their duties, and should not depart from it unless there is a good reason for doing so.

TPR’s checklist will help schemes to visualise their dashboards goals and what’s needed to achieve them. And it will provide the age-old satisfaction that comes with ticking off a completed task. Make positive steps, one at a time, towards the connection deadline – download TPR’s checklist here.

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