7 days

7 Days is a weekly round up of developments in pensions, normally published on Monday afternoons. We collate this information from key industry sources, such as the DWP, HMRC and TPR.

In this 7 Days

National Audit Office publishes report on the PDP

On 10 May 2024 the National Audit Office published its report into the PDP, including the progress the DWP and MaPS have made in delivering pensions dashboards. Some key findings are:

  • an estimated 16.3 million people are expected to use pensions dashboards
  • a range of factors, including a rise in supplier costs and the delivery timetable being extended by two years, have increased the PDP’s estimated cost by 23%, from £235 million in 2020 to £289 million in 2023
  • MaPS estimates that pensions dashboards will generate £413 million in benefits, based on an assessment of how much people would be willing to pay for them and the value of lost pension pots recovered.

Acknowledging the report, the PDP commented that work continues “to address areas for improvement as industry prepares to connect to the dashboards environment”.

ICO asks organisations to do more to protect against cyber attacks

On 10 May 2024, the ICO published a report with practical advice to “help organisations to understand common security failures and take simple steps to improve their own security, preventing future data breaches before they can happen” in light of increasing cyber security incidents.

The report looks at the five leading causes of cyber security breaches, including phishing (where scam messages trick the user and persuade people to share passwords or accidentally download malware) and “brute force attacks” (where trial and error is used to guess username and password combinations). It explains how these attacks take place and the key considerations to mitigate the risk, along with case studies.

In addition to taking steps to reduce the probability and severity of an attack, the ICO expects organisations to document and test plans for incident response, business continuity, and disaster recovery in the event an attack does occur.

PLSA publishes discretionary payment survey

The PLSA has published the results of a survey into discretionary payments dated April 2024. Findings include that:

  • 32% of respondents said their scheme had made discretionary payments to members within the last two years
  • 67% said the cost of living crisis had encouraged them to consider discretionary pension increases in relation to DB benefits accrued before 1997 (where statutory minimum increases do not apply to pensions in excess of GMP).