Laura Trott, the UK’s parliamentary under secretary of state for pensions, today announced a delay to the Pensions Dashboards Programme’s (PDP) connection deadline to 31 October 2026. The first connection deadline was set for 31 August 2023.
On 2 March she said that the PDP would be unable to meet the connection deadlines set out in legislation, and the timeline would need to be revised.
This morning she said: “More time is needed to deliver this complex build, and for the pensions industry to help facilitate the successful connection of a wide range of different IT systems to the dashboards digital architecture. As part of our reset of the Pensions Dashboard Programme, I am today laying amending regulations with a new approach to delivery that allows us to work more collaboratively with the pensions industry.”
Trott said that instead of setting out the entire staging timeline in legislation, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) would set this out in guidance, collaborating with the pensions industry this year.
“This will give the Pensions Dashboards Programme the flexibility it needs to ensure this complex project is completed effectively,” she added.
She noted, however, that the new connection deadline of 31 Octboer 2026 was not the Dashboards Available Point – the point at which Dashboards will be accessible to the public – which could be earlier than this.
Uncertainty will remain
Tim Box, senior consultant in LCP’s pension research team, welcomed the delay to the PDP’s conneciton deadline, however, “until the forthcoming guidance is published uncertainty will remain for schemes and this is likely to result in reluctance by trustees and managers to re-engage with Dashboards”.
“A key question that needs to be considered is how much weight will the guidance setting out the new staging timeline carry? For example, will it be mandatory for schemes to follow this in order to avoid a “last minute rush” in October 2026?” asked Box.
“We would encourage trustees and managers to continue to prepare for Dashboards, through useful exercises such as data-cleansing which will also have benefits for other projects,” He said.
Nigel Peaple, director policy and advocacy at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), added that “many in the pensions industry, including the PLSA, 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”.
He said: “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 as one.”