Pensions dashboard back on the agenda.
After a period of hesitation, the government has declared that the long-awaited Pensions Dashboard will, after all, go ahead. All your pension information will be viewable in one place. This is good news – but there’s a long road ahead before a smooth and successful launch can be guaranteed.
Have you noticed? So many of our blogs begin with dire warnings? We tell you of impending changes in taxation law or some aspect of government regulation. We’re forever cautioning you to be wary of this or to take care of that. Mind you – we’re not apologising! Our aim is to keep you ahead of the game with blogs which are up-to-date and relevant – blogs which, in the long run, will save you money.
However, this week is different! This blog brings glad tidings. When you speak to people who are, for some reason, uncertain, unhappy or confused, very often, the underlying reason is that they don’t feel in control. That’s why we’re sure you’ll be delighted to hear that the government’s long-awaited plans to design a Pensions dashboard for us all, is back on track. The reason? More than ever before, you’ll be in control of your pension information. With a few clicks, you’ll be able to see exactly where you stand, with each of your pension pots – private or state.
The then-Chancellor, George Osborne, initially announced the initiative back in 2016. He told us that the target was to launch in 2019. Subsequently, the Department of Works and Pensions took over the project.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) project managed the successful creation of a prototype pensions dashboard which they unveiled in March 2017.
Formal confirmation - all systems go
However, earlier this year there were hints that Ester McVey, the welfare secretary, wanted to forget the idea. Instantly, an online petition launched, attracting over 130,000 signatories in just three weeks.
It seems that the petition has had the desired effect. The parliamentary undersecretary of state, Guy Opperman, has formally confirmed that the project is definitely ‘on’.
Opperman said, ‘The pensions dashboard will offer people the opportunity to access their pension information in a clear and simple form – bringing together an individual’s savings in a single place online.
The DWP warns that, without an official website to help workers to keep track of savings through their careers, 50m worth of pension pots are at risk of being lost by 2050.
The director general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Huw Evans responded positively, declaring, ‘The government will help out millions of savers by keeping its promise to help deliver the pensions dashboard.’
While this is unarguably good news for all workers, we should be aware that the planning and delivery of the initiative won’t be all plain-sailing.
Guy Opperman warns, ‘The work that the DWP has done in assessing feasibility for a pensions dashboard has made it clear that we should not underestimate the size or complexity of the challenge.’
One of the potential hurdles will be how to integrate details of an individual’s state pension entitlement, as well as auto-enrolment and other schemes.
Steve Webb, director of policy at insurer Royal London, points out – ‘there is much that the industry can do to deliver a dashboard, but only the government can supply vitally important state pension data and only the government can legislate to make sure the dashboard’s coverage is comprehensive.
‘Backed by this renewed commitment by the government, the whole pension industry now needs to work together to drive forward this much-needed initiative’
This legal information is not the same as legal advice and you may not rely on our post as a recommendation of any particular legal understanding. Please, consult an attorney if you’d like to get advice on your interpretation of this article.