“I wanted to look at the effectiveness of our trustee board, so Gillian, our PSGS scheme secretary, provided their trustee self-assessment tool to help me gather thoughts and opinions from others on the board. The tool was extremely easy to use and asked all the right questions to help me collect the information I needed as Trustee Chair. It is a great example of the way PSGS shares knowledge with their clients and makes dealing with key governance issues easy. As well as enabling me to meet one of the Regulator’s 21st century trusteeship requirements, using the tool has flagged trustee training needs and ways we could improve trustee meetings further. ”
“Kevin takes control of the meetings whilst fully involving the other two trustees. His experience shines through and he is also a very good listener, making all parties feel involved.”
“Excellent support leading fiduciary management tender and availability during difficult pandemic period. Pragmatic, helpful approach and lovely to deal with.”
“It’s a pleasure working with key members of the PSGS team: their experience and leadership means that they know how to get the job done, working in partnership with fellow trustees, employers and advisers to achieve the best result for members.”
“Where PSGS are appointed to act in conjunction with an existing body of trustees, we have found that they are quickly able to fit in well and gain the trust and respect of their co-trustees. ”
“They are very proactive and full of new ideas, they've brought better scheduling and better minute sets.”
Pension dashboards are needed more than ever – this was a key message from Richard Smith, a member of the Pensions Administration Standards Association’s pensions dashboards working group at a recent meeting of the Pension Lifetime Saving Association (PLSA) South East group meeting.
The PLSA have launched Retirement Living Standards that show what life in retirement could look like at three different levels, and what a range of common goods and services would cost for each level.
Just 20% of people feel confident they are saving enough for retirement and dashboards will change this – providing pension information together in one secure place to help people better engage with pensions and make more informed decisions about their retirement and the income they want.
For many pension schemes connecting to pension dashboards, via the Government’s central ‘ecosystem’, will be a major undertaking. While there are different staging dates for schemes depending on their size, there will be some major challenges around data management, technology readiness, additional costs and resources needed.
So where are we with pension dashboards right now?
Richard showed us how the dashboards might look initially and over time. He explained the functionality will build – initial dashboards (there will be many) will offer a simple ‘find and view’ function so people can search and locate their pensions. All dashboards will display the same basic information.
He said there has been a consultation on the draft standards that set out the legal requirements for pension providers, schemes and dashboard providers. The final rules and regulations are not yet confirmed either, but will be very soon this Autumn.
However, progress is being made on the technology front. MoneyHelper, Aviva, Bud and Moneyhub are currently developing dashboards and pensions dashboard integrated service providers (ISPs) are carrying out testing to connect pension schemes to the dashboards ecosystem as well.
To help pension trustees and schemes understand the requirements, Richard also highlighted a guide from PASA on pension values.
He also noted useful content on The Pensions Regulator’s website which has detailed information on the requirements for schemes, as well as a 12 month to go check list for schemes which is available on the PLSA website.
When will different schemes need to connect?
Staging dates for connecting to the dashboards ecosystem are based on the size of the schemes. Large schemes such as master trusts will be the first of three staging cohorts for the dashboards, connecting to the necessary digital architecture between April 2023 and September 2024.
They will then be followed by medium schemes throughout October 2024 to October 2025, with small and micro schemes expected to connect from 2026, although these are not currently included in the legislation compelling schemes to connect.
DWP is also proposing a 90-day notice period between the point at which the dashboards will be available to the public - known as the dashboards available point (DAP) - and the announcement of when the DAP will be.
From 2023 onwards, on their staging date all pension schemes and providers must comply with new legislative duties for pensions dashboards. As part of this, schemes and providers need to soon decide how they want to digitally compare and match ‘find requests’ from users of dashboards against all the records they hold. For more guidance on data matching, Richard shared this useful guide from PASA.
Obviously, there is still time for schemes to prepare but Richard closed by saying there are three key questions schemes and pension trustees need to ask themselves now which are:
We are aware of a considerable amount of work being carried out by major administrators and ISPs to deliver these solutions in the background. The approach to passing on costs to clients vary too. They are all at different stages of setting up testing and this will come into focus as staging dates approach.
Final guidance will follow from the regulators of trust based and contract-based schemes. Dashboards is definitely key for the 2023 business plan for each scheme!
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