Will the Pensions Dashboard be shelved?

 

With the Government wavering on its previous commitment to producing a Pensions dashboard the ABI says it is “vital that Government stands by promises on the pensions dashboard”.

Responding to recent reports that the Government could be ready to shelve the development of the pensions dashboard, Huw Evans, Director General of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said “It is vital the Government stands by its promises on the pension dashboard. To abandon it would be a huge let down to millions of savers, leaving them unable to find the money they have saved and even exposing them to fraud. This is an initiative with cross-party support, backed by consumer groups, which is a win-win for everyone. The pensions industry is committed to helping but we need Government involvement to ensure the system works fairly for everyone.”

What is the pensions dashboard?

The pensions dashboard is a system which would allow savers to view all of their pension savings, including the State Pension, in a single online place of their choosing. Given the success of auto-enrolment, which has created 9 million new workplace savers, and that the average worker will change jobs 11 times, this sort of tool is essential to help savers keep track of and manage their savingsa, and plan effectively for retirement. You can see a demo for how it could work here.

What is the industry doing to make it happen?

The ABI project managed the successful creation of a prototype pensions dashboard on behalf of HM Treasury, which was unveiled in March 2017. This project was funded by the industry and supported by tech firms working on a pro bono basis, with around 80 people contributing to the work. The ABI has since provided Government with a blueprint for how to turn it into a real life service.

Why is Government involvement needed?

The creation of a pensions dashboard was originally announced by the then Chancellor George Osborne in 2016, who said it would be up and running in 2019. Lessons from overseas show that the best way of providing a comprehensive service is to make participation compulsory, so all schemes get their data up to the necessary standards. This requires legislation. The scheme must also be appropriately regulated and funded, to ensure consumers trust it and want to use it.

History of the dashboard so far…

March 2016 – it’s announced that a pensions dashboard service will go live in 2019.

September 2016 – the ABI takes on the role of project manager to deliver a dashboard prototype on behalf of HM Treasury.

March 2017 – a successful prototype is delivered on time and demonstrated to ministers, proof technology to connect everyone in the UK with all their pensions in one place can be built.

April 2017 – a techsprint is held during the Government’s FinTech week to explore potential applications of the dashboard. Then Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Kirby, writing in the Daily Mail: “The technology works and I am confident that we are close to providing consumers with a one-stop shop that will allow them to see their pensions information at the click of button.”

May 2017 – the ABI announces an interim pensions dashboard project to keep the work on track despite the snap General Election. This delivers a roadmap, setting out recommended steps to turn the dashboard into a working reality.

October 2017 – DWP announces it will formally take over responsibility for delivering the dashboard. Pensions Minister Guy Opperman, writing in The Times: “I want to make it clear that this project will go ahead. The dashboard is a key part of our desire to ensure consumers are able to understand their pensions and plan properly for their future. I can also confirm that the Department for Work and Pensions will be the lead department on this project.”

 

You can read the ABI press release here.

 
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