Chris Curry, principal of the Pensions Dashboards Industry Delivery Group (IDG), recaps the first few months of the project, including appointing a steering group, the group’s first meeting, the Pensions Schemes Bill, industry engagement and recruiting working groups.
When I wrote my previous blog post, I was just two weeks into my role at the IDG, it was the start of the summer holidays (remember that thing called sun!?).
Myself and the IDG team were extremely busy laying the foundations, developing the programme governance which sets out how the IDG will work and how decisions will be made, working with Capgemini on developing the roadmap for the programme, and launching the recruitment drive for the appointment of steering group members. We were also waiting patiently to find out more about the timings and details of the Pensions Schemes Bill. Since then, the team has continued to work at pace on making sure those foundations are solid.
IDG Steering Group appointments
I was really pleased to receive so many applications for a seat on the steering group. The calibre of applicants was high and the genuine interest in getting involved to drive the programme forward was clear.
The IDG selection panel spent a long time reviewing and discussing the applications, and most importantly, agreeing our final list of members for recommendation to the MaPS pensions dashboard project sub-committee – who also agreed with the final list. I’m confident that all the steering group members will provide the right levels of expertise, support and critical challenge to help me as chair, make key and timely decisions. Learn more about the IDG Steering Group members.
First IDG Steering Group meeting
The steering group held its first formal meeting on the 10 October at our offices in Belgrave Road, London. The meeting notes will be published shortly. We had a packed agenda, with plenty of opportunities for the steering group to share their views on what the IDG should be focussing our efforts on and this included a session on shaping the user needs at launch into public beta for the minimum viable product. This lively and informative discussion will help us shape and define the data standards which are so critical to this project.
Pensions Schemes Bill
There was of course a great deal of interest in the Pension Schemes Bill which was announced in the Queen’s Speech and published on the 16th October. The bill contains provisions which will compel pension schemes to make people’s data available to them via dashboards. This is absolutely vital to the success of the programme as, after all, a dashboard is nothing without the data.
I attended the launch of the Bill, hosted by the Minster for Pensions and responded to a number of questions – ranging from how we might engage people to use dashboards to how to protect those who do use them.
With the General Election now due to take place in December, we will have to wait a little longer for the bill to go through, but the IDG will continue to progress forward with the project as planned, including finalising data standards and we would encourage everyone to get involved via the working groups.
Hot on the heels of the session in Westminster, I spent three days at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association annual conference in Manchester, where I had the opportunity to update people on the current position in the programme, but more importantly, was able to listen to many different views and ideas about the future for pensions dashboards.
While it is of course important that we work quickly to make pensions dashboards a reality, we need to make sure that we do it properly so that we deliver secure pensions dashboards which help and enable as many people as possible to engage with their pensions and plan for their retirement.
Our implementation director Angela Pober has also been incredibly busy meeting with people from across the industry who have previously been involved with or who are interested in getting involved with pensions dashboards. These meetings have helped Angela to get a really detailed understanding of the work that needs to be done and by when, and the people that we need to be engaging with both as part of the team at the IDG implementation executive and externally, across the industry to support us in making pensions dashboards a reality.
Join a pensions dashboards working group
Critical to the success of the IDG are the industry working groups that we will very shortly be convening and facilitating. The working groups will be covering a whole range of important topics and really will enable you to share your views and help us shape the programme.
We hope to stand up the first data standards working group before Christmas, so if you’d like to get involved in this or any of the other working groups, please do get in touch. Find out more and express interest in joining.
Next steps for pensions dashboards
Looking forward, the next couple of months are likely to be just as busy as the last. Helping to guide the Pensions Schemes Bill through Parliament, continuing to work with the steering group and setting up the infrastructure for the working groups will, among other things, all provide us with an even firmer foundation for the delivery of pensions dashboards. Until next time,
Start a conversation about pensions
Pensions dashboards have provided an opportunity for a national conversation about pensions and how we engage with them. Beyond the industry, it’s sometimes hard to get people enthused to talk about pensions. However, 55% of the UK’s working-age adults don’t feel that they understand enough about pensions to make decisions about saving for retirement.
MaPS is hosting a national campaign to get the UK talking about personal finances, from pocket money through to pensions: Talk Money Talk Pensions Week, coming on 18 – 22 November 2019. This week offers an opportunity for your organisation to showcase how you help your customers to:
- improve their financial wellbeing
- engage with their pensions
- ask the questions they need to ask, and
- get the support they need.
Join the conversation on social media at #TalkPensions, and download a participation pack for easy ways get your organisation involved.