The Association of British Insurers says the government needs to provide “firm direction” for the dashboard to ensure it is a success. The Pension Dashboard proposal was announced in the 2016 March Budget but despite ABI and wide industry support and work behind the scenes there is no date for implementation.
A prototype was unveiled in March this year but work has continued to research consumer needs, engage with the wider industry, refine technical standards and look at how it could be appropriately regulated. The project has brought together representatives from all parts of the pensions industry as well as tech firms, and has consulted with consumer groups, says the ABI.
The aim of the Pensions Dashboard is to give consumers access to all their pension details in one place so that they can track their retirement plans better rather than having to contact multiple providers and schemes for information, as many now do.
The project group, managed by the ABI and including 16 contributors and the PLSA, is now setting out its recommendations for what should happen next to make the proposal a reality.
The ABI believes the key objective should be that consumers should have a right to access information about all of their pensions in one place of their choice in a standardised digital format, through regulated services.
Steps the ABI wants to see include:
• Government legislation to ensure all pension providers and schemes make their data available
• An implementation timetable, and an implementation and governance body which will establish the necessary standards for all involved
• Joint-working with regulators and legislators
• A non-commercial, government-backed platform which will operate alongside services from third parties.
• A study of the feasibility of additional tools and services from third party providers, such as financial advisers and pension companies
Yvonne Braun, ABI director of policy, long-term savings and protection, said: “Our recent research has found the majority of consumers easily see the value of the concept, are genuinely excited by it, and imagine it would encourage them to save and plan more effectively for later life.
“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.”
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) says it believes the Pensions Dashboard project could be the key to helping millions of UK consumers take control of their retirement savings but for the dashboard to be an “effective tool” it must be comprehensive, effectively regulated and underpinned by strong independent governance to ensure savers are given the same information wherever they look.