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Connecting to pensions dashboards

You will need to have a digital interface in place to connect your scheme to pensions dashboards. You will also need to complete a number of steps before you connect.

Choosing a digital interface

Your digital interface could be provided by:

  • using an interface built by your scheme’s third-party administrator or software / IT supplier
  • building your own interface if the scheme is administered in-house
  • using an interface provided by a third-party integrated service provider (ISP)

Talk to your administrator and software / IT suppliers to understand their plans for connecting your systems to dashboards and assess how well prepared they are. You will need to decide whether they can meet your needs or whether to use an interface from an ISP.

If you are considering building your own interface, be aware that connecting to the dashboards system will be a significant undertaking. It will typically require specialist resource and experience in order to meet the standards that the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) sets. It could also deliver a lot of traffic to your systems and these will need to be available at any time. Your systems will need to be able to process requests within seconds. You should carefully consider all these aspects before deciding on the best solution for you.

Whichever approach you take, you remain accountable for ensuring your scheme is connected to dashboards on time and that it remains compliant. You should ensure robust processes are in place for the selection, appointment, management and replacement of any suppliers.

Connecting to the system

In order to connect your scheme to the system you will need to meet standards set by MaPS. If you are connecting the scheme directly you will need to provide evidence, including through conformance testing, that you meet these standards. This process can take six to nine months and if you are considering connecting directly you should register your interest with MaPS as soon as possible.

If you are connecting your scheme through a third party you will need to assure yourself that they meet MaPS’s standards, but you will not need to go through testing.

Whichever route to connection is chosen, all trustees will need to register their schemes with MaPS’s Governance Register. This will ensure the dashboards system is kept safe by only allowing regulated schemes to connect and that the required security and performance standards are met. To register, you will need to provide your pension scheme reference number and a unique code we will issue to you ahead of your deadline. If you are using a third party to connect, you will need to provide them with both these pieces of information. You should allow six weeks for the registration process.

You must co-operate with requests made by MaPS about your connection and let them know if you face any barriers or connection issues.

When connection is complete, you should be able to:

Ongoing requirements

Once connected, your scheme will need to stay connected, even if it is a small or micro scheme which is connected on a voluntary basis, unless you fall out of scope of the regulations eg if all your members become pensioner members. You will need to notify MaPS of planned downtime (eg for maintenance work) and notify MaPS as soon as possible if your scheme disconnects outside of this.

You will also need to:

  • update your systems when MaPS makes any updates or changes to standards
  • keep the scheme’s information on the Governance Register up to date

If you fail to meet MaPS’ standards and requests, your scheme could be automatically disconnected. This may have regulatory consequences for you and we may take compliance and enforcement action.

Reporting and record-keeping requirements

You will need to report certain information through the system to help MaPS monitor your compliance with legal requirements and monitor the performance of the system. This information is set out in MaPS’s draft reporting standards, which will be finalised in the autumn. You will need to keep a record of this information.

You will also need to keep a record of:

  • how you have carried out steps set out in TPR or MaPS guidance on connection, or other steps you’ve taken to achieve connection
  • your matching criteria 

You will need to keep these records for at least six years from the end of the scheme year to which it relates.

When your scheme needs to connect with dashboards
Matching people with their pensions