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Pensions dashboards – a five-step checklist for employers

I was chatting with my cousin recently, and the conversation turned to pensions. He’s a painter and decorator who, like many people, has collected various DC pots and accrued State Pension along the way.

Through no fault of his own, he can’t remember what he’s got nor where to look for it. He knew the provider of one pot and that some of the others were with long-defunct providers. Other than that, he had no idea – a very familiar story.

When I pointed my cousin toward the Pensions Tracing Service, he was genuinely surprised – he had no idea it existed nor that he could get a State Pension forecast. 

He thought it was great that someone could tell him where his various pots might be. But he was, understandably, less enamoured with the thought of contacting each provider to find out what they might be worth.

Having visibility over this information in a single place – like a pensions dashboard – would be a pretty good outcome for my cousin, and many others.

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However, the Pensions Dashboards Programme (‘PDP’), which has the difficult task of delivering a pretty monumental service, was unable to meet the connection deadlines set in legislation.

This means the public launch is very much still TBC – although there’s now an official connection deadline for providers of 31 October 2026.

But no one said it would be easy – this is a complex, ambitious project, and if we’re to ensure its successful delivery, it’s only right to pause and reflect.

In this spirit, here’s a checklist of the key actions we believe both trustees and sponsoring employers should be taking in the interim.

Plan your communications

There are some key questions to ask here. For example, what messages will you give to members about dashboards? How will you answer questions when members can’t see their pension savings? Will you answer members’ questions, or is this a job for your administrator or a call centre?

Understanding these details is essential to minimising any gaps in communications and ensuring members have access to all of the information they need.

Think about your members

The most important thing for every employer to consider is how interested or not their employees will be in dashboards. Will they want to know everything, be completely uninterested, or somewhere in between?

In addition, consider how many vulnerable members you might have. The FCA’s new Consumer Duty rules highlight the importance of vulnerable customers and suggest that people might be vulnerable as a result of matters relating to health (e.g. low mental or cognitive disability, severe or long-term illness), life events (e.g. bereavement, income shock or caring responsibilities), resilience (e.g. debt, low savings and inadequate income) and capability (e.g. poor literacy or numeracy, learning difficulties and poor English language skills).

If your pension provider or administrator will be answering member calls, it’s worth checking whether they have specialist resources available to help support vulnerable members.

Remember your AVCs

Just as important is taking the opportunity to review your Additional Voluntary Contributions (‘AVCs’) before 2026 to explore whether they can be delivered through an alternative arrangement. If you decide to keep them in your scheme, you’ll need to ensure the data is complete, up-to-date, and ties in with your DB member data.

Be clear who’ll be taking the lead in pulling this data across.

Talk with your providers and administrators

Engage with third-party providers to understand how prepared they are for dashboards.

We all have a responsibility to make dashboards a success, so don’t be afraid to challenge your provider or administrator on what they’re doing to sort the data and help you understand your membership.

Prepare for charges

In most cases, there will be fees relating to dashboards-related work. Do you know what your administrators are going to charge you for all of this? In addition, if your contracts aren’t clear on what counts as business-as-usual work and what’s out of scope, make sure to ask the question.

When it comes to dashboards, there are numerous obstacles to overcome, all of which will be unique to each scheme and employer. But for all the challenges, we must remain positive and remind ourselves of who this initiative is trying to help and what a remarkable feat it’ll be once properly executed.

The work surrounding pensions dashboards isn’t just a wave of challenging admin; it’s a landmark initiative that’ll have a meaningful impact on the financial futures of millions. We look forward to seeing further guidance from the DWP later this year. 

Paul Enderby is senior vice president in Redington’s DC consulting team