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Failing to comply with pensions dashboards duties

We have been given new powers to issue compliance notices and penalties to trustees and managers if they fail to comply with pensions dashboards requirements. These include connecting and maintaining their connection with dashboards, and complying with technical, data and other standards that the Money and Pensions Service sets. You must have regard to the guidance on staging timelines, and not doing so will also be a breach.

You will be expected to demonstrate how you have had regard to the guidance. This means, but is not limited to, that:

  • You should not make final decisions about connecting and whether to follow the 'connect by' date until you have engaged with the guidance.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you have adequate governance and processes for making such decisions. The reasoning for your decisions should be clearly considered and documented, as well as how relevant risks are identified, evaluated and managed.
  • You should make sure that you have access to all the relevant information before making decisions and acting upon them. Keep clear and accurate audit trails to demonstrate the decisions made, the reasons for them and the actions taken.

We may also issue compliance notices and penalties to third parties where they have caused non-compliance. This may include administrators, integrated service providers and employers.

Under the new regulations we will have the option to issue penalties of up to £5,000 to individuals and up to £50,000 in other cases for any instance of a single compliance breach.

We will have discretion over if and how we use these powers. We recognise that delivering pensions dashboards is a huge challenge for industry. We will work with industry as issues arise, and use our powers fairly and proportionately, looking at the particular circumstances of each case. As a regulator, we will be pragmatic but there are legal obligations to comply with and if we see intentional or reckless non-compliance, we will take action.

These new powers will sit alongside our existing powers, which we will continue to use. Our existing powers include being able to:

  • request information
  • require a skilled persons report
  • suspend, prohibit or appoint a trustee where warranted

We consulted on our draft dashboards compliance and enforcement policy in November 2022. We are assessing what, if any, changes need to be made as a result of the change to new regulations, and will provide an update as soon as we can.

Ongoing connection and record-keeping requirements
Preparing to connect: checklist