The Pensions Administration Standards Association (Pasa) has released a new Connection Ready Guidance for scheme administrators, outlining the top 5 actions that schemes must follow if universal connection is to be achieved by 31 October 2026.
The guidance sets out that schemes and administrators should start their preparations before it’s too late, and will be followed by further supporting materials which will include practical tips, checklists, and key actions for becoming “connection ready”.
Maurice Titley, ITM director and Pasa expert partner for dashboards, said “The simple scheme plan included in the guidance demonstrates it may take 18 months elapsed time (or even longer) to achieve all the elements of becoming connection ready for one scheme in isolation”. Maurice explains that few schemes will have suppliers who can focus solely on their industry, so agreeing specific plans now is evermore important.
The ”key pillars” to assess connection readiness for a single scheme are as follows:
- Governance readiness
- Matching readiness
- Pensions values readiness
- Technology readiness
- Administration readiness
- Governance structures are in place, identifying key stakeholders and ensuring their engagement in connection readiness delivery.
- Pensions dashboards should become a regular agenda item at board meetings.
- Data should be assessed for matching purposes, and should be complete and of good quality.
- The final choice of matching approach should be set out after any data improvements.
Pensions values readiness
- Schemes should identify savers for whom data isn’t available, and plans to improve data coverage should be agreed.
- Plans should be put in place for handling queries directed at the administrator.
- An agreed method for connection should be established, whether it be through an existing platform or an ISP.
- Basic installation and integration should be completed and tested.
- Processes should be in place for answering queries regarding data matching and revising current data.
- Consideration should be given to how and when to communicate to savers about dashboards.
Pasa have worked with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Pensions Regulator (tPR), and the Money and Pensions Service (Maps) to develop the guidance. The Pensions Regulator dashboards lead, Lucy Stone, urges administrators to work with trustees to develop an effective action plan and prepare in line with their checklist.