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Pensions dashboards programme delayed due to digital skills shortage

According to a recently released report from the National Audit Office (NAO), the UK government’s Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) has been delayed due to a lack of digitally skills and incapacity.

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Pensions dashboards programme delayed due to digital skills shortage

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The PDP is an initiative that has been in development since 2020, with the objective of establishing a digital infrastructure where users can access and review their pension benefits and details. The report stated that an estimated 16.3 million people will benefit from pensions dashboards.

Gareth Davies, head of the NAO, stated: “Once completed, the PDP could benefit millions of people by providing a secure, comprehensive and online point of access for information about their pensions.

“However, delivery delays due to shortfalls in digital capacity and capability have pushed back the final deadline for pension providers and schemes to connect to the PDP by a year, with no date currently set for citizens to benefit.”

The programme was reset in December 2022, when it was determined that its current timetable was not viable by Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), an arm of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that was delivering the PDP.

Oliver Morley, CEO of the MaPS commented: “This report reflects the hard work of a dedicated team to inject real momentum into the dashboards programme, with support from the Money and Pensions Service, Department for Work and Pensions and wider stakeholder community.

“We’re making sustained progress, delivering the information industry needs to be able to connect and so enable us to transform financial planning for generations to come.”

The new deadline for the delivery of PDP has been announced for 31 October 2026, one year after the original intended date. MaPS and DWP expect the PDP to leave reset in May 2024, and have made adjustments to revise the programme.

The cost of the PDP has increased by an estimated 23% due to the delay and supplier costs.

Davies concluded: “Though progress has been made during the reset, DWP and MaPS must continue to work closely to ensure the final stages of the PDP are delivered smoothly and the public can begin to have access to this important service.”

A DWP spokesperson added: “As the NAO recognises, the Pensions Dashboards Programme has made significant progress towards delivering a service which will transform how savers plan for their retirement.

“Action taken by the DWP to reset the Programme to get it on track for successful delivery means connection testing will begin from August 2024 before a wider onboarding of pension schemes and providers from April 2025.”

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