Pensions - Articles - UK Pensions Dashboard architecture could lead the world


The UK has the opportunity to implement a world-leading Pensions Dashboard architecture that will enable consumers to access all of their pensions data and at the same time control who can get access to this data.

 Combining assured citizen and delegate digital identity with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and the User-Managed Access (UMA) open security standard paves the way for a solution without parallel. No other country with a Pensions Dashboard has implemented such advanced controls.

 Such a solution would also surpass Open Banking with advanced consumer consent, data sharing and privacy approaches without any need to aggregate data in one place (a topical security concern).

 A well governed Open API approach will encourage an innovative and competitive market for FinTech integration service providers to offer cost efficient participation for pension schemes and administrators providing the pension data to consumers.

 This approach will also allow dashboards to be provided to consumers through trusted brands including banks, platforms and other financial institutions (if that is the approach the Department for Work & Pensions sets out in its Feasibility Study).

 Alongside Open APIs, UMA would enable consumers to have full control of who can access their data and for how long – granting access for example, to their financial adviser or the Single Financial Guidance Body – as well as the ability to revoke access and for security to be in place to prove who is accessing the data. The UMA approach to security and consent is also well aligned with the requirements of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations).

 Kenneth May, Chief Architect of Origo, says: “It is vital to ensure that access to sensitive customer financial data is only granted at the point of consumption, according to time-bound consent and only when an appropriate level of assurance for all dashboard entities such as individuals, delegates, organisation and software clients has been established.

 “Using UMA to achieve this is a game-changer. It allows us to introduce a level of API-enabled connectivity and secure, permissioned access to data never seen before in our industry. Privacy and security is at the heart of the solution - it’s a world-class approach to the benefit of the consumer.”

 Anthony Rafferty, Managing Director of Origo, adds: “Should DWP favour a solution based on UMA then this would promote a thriving open architecture and trust ecosystem. The UK has the opportunity to implement a world-leading Pensions Dashboard architecture based on Open APIs and the UMA open standard.

 “Our extensive work has proven that this architecture is feasible and will be strongly supported by the industry and consumer groups as it allows the consumer to control who gets access to their pensions data such as their financial adviser or the new Single Financial Guidance Body.”

 In addition to leading the way on architecture, the UK Pensions Dashboard will be introduced into one of the most complex financial services environments in the world.

 May says: “We’ve learned a lot from Dashboard implementations in other EU countries which are generally single solution models managed by implementation entities that are a public/private partnership. From research and discussions with these organisations, we understand there is now demand for these solutions to be ‘opened up’ to enable API models to access the data they hold for other FinTech and financial provider channels. This is following a global trend that is also evidenced with Open Banking.

 “What we also have to bear in mind, is that the UK’s pension system is significantly different and more complex than in many of those countries that have already adopted a dashboard. For example, the UK has some 300 private pension companies, whereas the Netherlands has 65 and Sweden 54. Likewise, the UK has approximately 44,000 occupational schemes whilst the Netherlands has close to 400 and Sweden has approximately 90. Therefore, the scale of integration in the UK will be a greater challenge but will create a market for FinTech Integration Service Providers.

 “These figures also reflect the very real need for consumers in this country that the Pensions Dashboard receives the support of not just government but the industry as well, in order to have faster and easier access to their pensions information, so they can make informed decisions about their retirement.”

 Rafferty concludes: “The UK can learn from other countries who implemented their dashboard several years ago; we can take the lessons learned and apply them to the development of the dashboard which will help make it a success. We can also learn from the experience of initiatives such as Open Banking.

 “Importantly, we can create a user experience that is better for consumers and thereby better engages them with their pensions.”
  

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