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Heywood Pension Tech

When it comes to pensions dashboards, you might have found yourself asking yourself: What is DAP? it ]'s no secret that the pensions and IT industries love TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) and the latest one to enter the lexicon is DAP, or Dashboard Availability Point to give it it's full name.

So what is DAP?

DAP refers to the date when individuals will be able to start using pensions dashboards: the point when the infrastructure is established and operational for public access.

This is a crucial date for both pension schemes and individuals. Schemes need to be connected and their data ready by then to ensure members can access their information smoothly. Individuals can anticipate viewing all their pension information in one place, including potentially lost pots, once the DAP arrives.

It's important to note that the current DAP has not yet been confirmed.

Read more: Pensions dashboards frequently asked questions

The decision regarding the DAP is made by the Government, specifically the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in consultation with the Money and Pensions Service, the Pensions Regulator, and the Financial Conduct Authority. The Government is committed to providing a minimum of 6 months' notice before the dashboards are made available.

It's important to note that the connection deadline for pension providers and schemes to connect to the central digital architecture is not the same as the dashboards available point. However, if pension providers and schemes adhere to the staging profile outlined in the guidance, it is possible for the DAP to occur before the connection deadline.

Read more: What's been happening since the pensions dashboards reset?

When we asked pension schemes what they felt was their biggest challenge when preparing for DAP, they all voiced the same concerns:

  • The Pensions Dashboards increasing incoming member contact.

  • Having the right team in place to deal with the amplified volume of member queries.

This question also elicited another concern that wasn’t specifically DAP-related. That concern was our old friend: 

  • Making sure that their data is Dashboard-ready.

It got us wondering whether there were still some general misunderstandings about the Dashboards Programme that are worth clearing up. We know that there is a lot of good quality information circulated about the Pensions Dashboards Programme, but despite that, a few myths are still doing the rounds.

Here are some of the common ones that we have heard and want to set straight:

  • "It's never going to happen"

It has taken the industry 20 years to get to this point, but the programme is progressing and is on track with the first schemes connecting to the Dashboards in just over nine months’ time. 

  • "We just need to load our data into the Pensions Dashboard"

The data displayed in the Dashboards will come from your pension administration system, either via your ISP of choice or your direct system connection. No data persists in the Pension Dashboards Central Digital Architecture. 

  • "There is only one dashboard"

We know of at least four Dashboards that are already part of the Programme and know of at least the same again being built. 

  • My TPR data quality scores are great so I must be Dashboard ready!”

There are a lot of crossovers between the TPR Common and Scheme Specific data items and dashboard data, but the TPR scores only measure the presence of the data items, not the accuracy. 

  • “I’ve only got 90 days to get my data ready for DAP”

The DAP is not your staging date. You need to get your data ready before your staging date. You should already be looking at your data readiness. The DAP will be when Dashboards are publicly available to end users. 

  • “My staging date is the finish line”

It’s actually the opposite! Once you hit your staging date it is only the start. Once you are connected you are always connected.

The final myth surrounds how scheme benefits are too complicated to display simply as one value. The data standards deal with this and we are now in the midst of the final consultation on these standards, which we will be reviewing and sharing our thoughts on, soon. 

Read more: Selecting an ISP partner

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