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Pensions Dashboards: "The digital retirement revolution is here at last"

The Department for Work and Pensions has today published its response to the consultation on pensions dashboards, setting out its proposed way forwards in turning the concept into a service for everyone to use.

Yvonne Braun, the ABI’s Director of Long-term Savings and Protection Policy, said:

Yvonne Braun, the ABI’s Director of Long-term Savings and Protection Policy, said:

“The digital retirement revolution is here at last. All the pieces are being put in place to deliver the easy access to retirement information everybody needs and that the pensions industry is so keen to deliver. The ABI, leading a cross-industry group of pension providers and schemes, has already put years of work into making dashboards happen and we can’t wait to see these vital services in action. We’re delighted to see the Government committing to the necessary legislation and will continue to play our part in making dashboards a reality.”

Details released by the Government include:

  • A commitment to bring forward legislation at the earliest opportunity to compel all pension providers to make consumers’ data available to them through a dashboard;
  • An expectation that the majority of schemes will be ready to ‘go live’ with their data within a three to four year window;
  • Confirmation that State Pension information will be included as soon as possible;
  • Confirmation that private sector dashboards will be developed alongside a non-commercial one;
  • Dashboards will help to reconnect people with ‘lost’ pension pots, benefitting savers and providers.

Yvonne Braun added:

“The Government is rightly prioritising legislation to ensure pensions dashboards can provide a comprehensive service, something it’s good to know the State Pension will also be a part of. The combination of a non-commercial dashboard service alongside those provided by the private sector will give consumers choice and drive innovation.”

Pensions Dashboards – the lowdown

What are pensions dashboards?

At the moment, when you build up savings with different employers for when you retire, you can only look at these pension pots separately. Pensions dashboards will let you see information about all of your pension pots together - in an online place that you can choose. They’ll also be able to alert you to savings in your name that you may have lost track of.

The ABI has previously designed and delivered a prototype pensions dashboard service for Government. You can read more about how the system works here.

Why is legislation needed?

Research  has shown the general public doesn’t see the point in using a pensions dashboard service that can only give them a partial picture of their savings. Pensions dashboards need to be as comprehensive as possible, as soon as possible.

Lessons from overseas show the best way of providing a comprehensive service is to make participation compulsory, so all schemes have to get their data up to the necessary standards and the system is properly regulated. Denmark, a country with a much less complicated pensions system, took nearly a decade to reach 90% coverage on a voluntary basis.

Why do we need multiple dashboards?

While a single dashboard provided by the Single Financial Guidance Body will be useful, restricting the service to a non-commercial offering only would prevent it reaching its full potential. By increasing the number of places that consumers can safely access their data, DWP is increasing the number of people who will engage in their pensions. Savers are more likely to use dashboards that can be incorporated into other services, such as online banking, and private firms will be able to offer other functionality to help encourage consumer engagement.

What’s being done to keep my data safe?

Pensions dashboards don’t hold vast amounts of pensions data. Data will be held by providers as it currently is, there will be no massive centralised database. Dashboards will work by going and fetching information from all the schemes that are plugged into them when an individual logs in and requests sight of their records. This process will be protected by an ID verification service.

Last updated 04/04/2019