Adrian Boulding, Director of Policy, NOW: Pensions
Just before Christmas, the government renewed its commitment to launching a pensions dashboard.
After some uncertainty about whether the project would get the green light, the feasibility study and industry consultation published by the DWP received a warm welcome from industry and consumer groups alike.
What difference would a pensions dashboard make to savers?
The idea behind the pensions dashboard is simple – give people access to information about all their pension savings in one online dashboard.
The DWP estimate that on average people will have 11 jobs throughout their working life. This could result in 11 different pension schemes and 11 different pension pots. Although because of the size of NOW: Pensions, there is a one in three likelihood that later in your career you will take a job with another employer that has also chosen NOW: Pensions.
With people having multiple jobs and multiple pension savings, the risk of losing track of their pension pots is growing.
The dashboard would help people to better understand what they have saved, where their savings are and what they can expect in retirement.
Nearly two thirds of pension savers NOW: Pensions surveyed said that being able to view all their pension savings in one place would help them to manage their retirement savings better.
Currently, nearly one in five pension savers admit they never check on their pension and 25% only check annually.
What’s the government’s proposal?
While there are still a number of details to be ironed out, the feasibility study makes a number of recommendations.
While, over time, there may be multiple dashboards, initially it would start with just one hosted by the new Single Financial Guidance Body – the government guidance body.
All pension providers would be compelled to participate and information on the State Pension would be included.
Master trusts, such as NOW: Pensions would be part of the first wave providing data to the dashboard in 2019 / 20. There would be a roll out period of 3-4 years from the first dashboard going live to get other providers onboard.
NOW: Pensions has been a long-standing supporter of the dashboard project taking part in the initial prototype back in 2017.
We believe that the pensions dashboard has the potential to revolutionise the way people think, feel and access information about their pension savings.
The inclusion of the State Pension is a must as, for most people, this will make up the lion’s share of their pension savings and it’s good to see the government commit to integrating the State Pension into the dashboard.
But, the technology needs to be future proofed. Simply providing a window to look in and see what’s there isn’t enough. Savers want to be able to do more and giving them the ability to do so could help improve their quality of life when they retire.
Top things savers want the dashboard to be able to do
- 37% want to be able to pay more money into their pension
- 33% want to be able to update their contact details for all pension providers
- 32% want to see if they are on track with their pension savings against a benchmark or target
- 32% want to be able to transfer/consolidate pension pots
- 32% want to access their annual benefit statement
- 28% want access to guidance
Getting this airborne in 2019 is going to be a challenge, but we think the potential benefit to savers to well worth the effort. We very much hope that Government can find space in the legislative timetable to take Pensions Dashboard forward.