The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is seeking views on how the pensions industry should create free, user-friendly online pensions dashboards that would allow people to access their information from most schemes in one place.
In a consultation which is open until 28 January 2019, and which can be found at www.gov.uk, the DWP sets out recommendations for dashboards and invites comments to inform policy decisions and any new laws that may be needed.
Minister for Pensions Guy Opperman said: “Pensions dashboards are another major milestone in our radical pension reforms, harnessing innovative technology to benefit savers. Plain pensions information at the touch of a screen will ensure better-informed, more engaged savers and help many more people to plan effectively for retirement.”
The intention is to show people clearly how much they have in their pension pots and what they can expect to have to live on in retirement. The scheme should also help people to find “lost” pension pots (estimated to be worth £20 billion).
It is envisaged that the first pensions dashboard will be established in 2019, with multiple versions to be introduced in the following years subject to the necessary consumer protection measures being in place.
Yvonne Braun, Director of Long-term Savings Policy at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said: “The Government is right to be preparing for legislation — all pension providers and schemes need to be involved, as well as the State Pension. Being able to access all your pension information in a single place will transform retirement planning for millions.”
However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is less sure, with its Chairman, Mike Cherry, arguing against leaving delivery to the pensions industry and calling on DWP Secretary Amber Rudd to “inject some leadership and drive into this long-delayed initiative”.
Comment by Croner Pay and Reward Expert, Clare Parkinson
It is clear to see how having one central location for individuals to view their pension entitlement will be a great benefit for employees, especially those who, on account of their employment history, have numerous pensions set up with different providers.
As we are still in the consultation stage, it is unclear what role employers will play and whether they will be expected to contribute to the dashboard in some way.
Despite this, employers can at least look forward to the prospect of saving a significant amount of time and money, answering pension-related queries from current and former staff, if the proposed dashboard is introduced.
Last reviewed 10 December 2018