Pension dashboard back in the spotlight

In a new report the Work & Pensions Select Committee has urged the government to introduce an industry-funded pensions dashboard by April 2019.

People currently have an average of 11 different jobs in their lifetime, which makes work pension pots hard to keep track of. The pension dashboard aims to solve this problem. If created, it would be a digital portal where people can view a snapshot of all their pensions in one place.

It would also pave the way for people to view their projected retirement income, consolidate their different pension pots, compare pension providers across the board and choose how their pension gets invested.

‘Currently, it is incumbent on the individual to monitor each of those pensions, as well as their state pension and defined benefit pension entitlements, separately,’ notes the report. ‘A pensions dashboard would bring all the information together on one digital platform.’

In the UK, the creation of a pension dashboard was first proposed by the Financial Conduct Authority in 2014. Its importance has been emphasised by various governmental and industry bodies ever since, and it is scheduled to launch by April 2019. 

Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands already have pension dashboards where savers can see all their pensions in one place, and the UK government is lagging. 

In these countries, a ‘common theme across all dashboards has been the increased level of engagement with pensions,’ according to the Association of British Insurers. 

Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London, has said: ‘It is unacceptable that the UK is in the slow lane and our savers are being left behind.’ 

‘Open banking has put people firmly in control of elements of their own finances, yet pensions are not seemingly being treated with the same urgency,’ says Nathan Long, senior pension analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. ‘People will struggle to make confident retirement planning decisions without innovation.’ 

Andy Tarrant, head of policy at The People’s Pension, also welcomes the renewed calls for a pension dashboard. He adds: ‘It has real potential to revolutionise retirement planning, but parts of the industry simply won’t play unless it’s compulsory. If we focus on the consumer, introduce strong regulation and ensure all providers play their part, the dashboard will be a success, and help millions of people plan for a better retirement.’ 

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