The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced today that the launch of the long-awaited Pensions Dashboard Programme (PDP) will be pushed back again – this time, to 2026.
The objective of the dashboard is to allow people to view all of their pension pots in one place, with the aim to put savers “back in control” and help reconnect them with their lost pots so they can plan better for retirement.
The project, which was first mooted in 2015, was originally planned to launch in 2019. The rollout plans were then extended to August this year, however, technicalities have meant the deadline has been extended once again.
In a statement made on June 8, pensions minister Laura Trott said that “more time is needed to deliver this complex build” and work “more collaboratively” with the pensions industry.
The extended deadline of October 31, 2026, has been given to provide the “flexibility” it needs to ensure the project is completed “effectively”.
However, Ms Trott noted that the October 2026 date will not be the date on which the dashboard will be made public, as that point “could be” earlier.
Ms Trott said: “In recognition that the requirement to connect to the digital architecture should remain mandatory, we will include a connection deadline in legislation of October 31, 2026. This is not the Dashboards Available Point – the point at which dashboards will be accessible to the public – which could be earlier than this.”
She added: “The Government remains as committed as ever to making pensions dashboards a reality and we are ambitious about their delivery.
“I am confident that this re-appraised approach will enable us to make significant progress on delivering dashboards safely and securely, enabling consumers to take advantage of their benefits to plan for retirement.”
Pensions experts have hit back at the “disappointing” news, saying the dashboard should be more of a priority.
Howard Finnegan, products sales director at Equisoft, commented: “The announcement today that the proposed deadlines for mandatory adoption (of the programme) have in effect been pushed back two and a half years until October 2026 is a very disappointing one for the Pensions Dashboards Programme, for the pensions industry and for the millions of pension schemes members planning for their pensions.
“We believe that without compulsion and with no incentive for early adoption most schemes will not follow the guideline dates. Why would companies incur costs a year or more ahead of when required by the Regulator?”
Samantha Seaton, CEO of Moneyhub, added: “While appreciative of the complexities of the Pensions Dashboards Programme, the fact remains that people need to be able to retire and to live an appropriate lifestyle that a G7 country can be proud of.
“As we have said before, we should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and having a starting point that can be continuously refined and optimised is preferable.”
However, Claire Trott, divisional director of retirement and holistic planning at St. James’s Place welcomed the delay, pointing out the importance that the project is “correct”.
Ms Trott told Express.co.uk: “Although it is disappointing that the dashboard is being yet again delayed it is more important that it is correct, not misleading and a real benefit to consumers.
“It would be worse to launch something that doesn’t provide any benefit or only part of what is intended, this could mean that it fails to get engagement by those who most need this resource.”