Latest News / ‘Clear timetable’ for pensions dashboards urged by industry
‘Clear timetable’ for pensions dashboards urged by industry
12 October 2017
A clear timetable is needed for plans to create "pensions dashboards" that would allow people to see all their retirement savings in one place, according to industry representatives.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said the Government must "lay its cards on the table" and be clear about what it is prepared to commit to the project and when.
The industry was tasked by the Government to develop a prototype to show that the technology to connect people across the UK with data from all of their various pensions, including the state pension, can work.
The prototype was delivered in March but the ABI said work has continued to research consumer needs, engage with the wider industry, refine technical standards and look at how it could be appropriately regulated.
It is hoped pensions dashboards could make it easier for people to see exactly how much cash they have in all their pots combined.
This would help people to see whether they need to save more.
Jamie Jenkins, head of pensions strategy at Standard Life, said from 2019, the dashboard launch will provide people with a clearer view of all their pension savings.
He said: "It will be a game-changer for those who want to take control of their pension savings, whether they're being auto-enrolled on starting their first job, or nearing their retirement."
The ABI said setting up such a service will require a lot of joint-working across many different parts of industry along with regulators and legislators - and this needs a clear plan and timetable.
It said an implementation and governance body would need to oversee the setting up and ongoing operation of a trusted service.
The ABI said consumer research found a Government-backed, non-commercial option was considered important to build trust in a new service.
Yvonne Braun, ABI director of policy, long-term savings and protection, said: "We have the support of the public and we know the technology works. It's time for the Government to lay its cards on the table and be clear about what it is prepared to commit to this important project, and when.
"For such a service to succeed it needs to be as comprehensive as possible, as soon as possible, and anything which involves people's life savings must be effectively regulated.
“We need a clear timetable for implementation and legislation so we can turn this great concept into a genuine public service.”
Graham Vidler, director of external affairs at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), said: “For the dashboard to be effective it must be comprehensive, effectively regulated and underpinned by strong independent governance to ensure savers are given consistent information wherever they look.”
Gareth Shaw, a money expert at consumer group Which?, said: “The Government quickly needs to set out how it will introduce the pensions dashboard so that it genuinely helps consumers to see all information they need on all their pensions in one place.
“It should be compulsory for all pension schemes to feed information to the dashboard so there is a comprehensive and easy-to-use system for people to keep track of their savings. Only then can people properly plan and make informed decisions for their retirement.”
Sir Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London, said: “It will take years for some schemes to get their data in shape and the sooner they know it will be a regulatory requirement, the sooner they will start work.
“Other countries have had dashboards for years, and UK consumers should not be left in the slow lane.”
A Treasury spokeswoman said: “We are fully committed to making the pensions dashboard a reality and we will set out the next steps in due course.”