/ Money

First pensions dashboards expected this year

With workers averaging 11 pension pots over their lifetimes, a dashboard gathering all that information into one place could be a game changer.

Update: 05/04/2019

The Department for Work and Pensions has now confirmed that the first industry dashboards are expected this year.

It’s encouraging to see the important recognition that all schemes must be included in dashboards, allowing consumers to finally see all of their pots in one place – so the Government must introduce legislation to ensure this is achieved.

We welcome the crucial commitment to including the state pension.

Dashboards won’t be complete without this vital component so it must be included at the earliest opportunity.

Every dashboard must display all the important information consumers need in a clear and accessible way, allowing them to easily understand their pension savings and the costs involved.

The delivery group has been tasked with some massive decisions that will determine the dashboards’ success – so we must see a clear commitment to delivering consumer-friendly tools within a swift timeframe.

Update: 03/12/2018

With the news that Theresa May has given her backing to new pensions dashboards which will enable people to check their future retirement finances on mobile phones and tablets, we’re welcoming steps towards achieving what could be a game-changing improvement to the way people manage their pensions.

Jenni Allen, Managing Director, Which? Money said:

Every dashboard must display all the important information consumers need in a clear and accessible way, allowing them to easily understand their pension savings and the costs involved.

It’s crucial that all schemes are included, alongside the state pension, so that savers are able to make informed decisions about their retirement savings and plan their lives accordingly.

Original Convo (01/08/2018)

The pensions dashboard would allow people to see all of their pension pots in one place. It could be a vital tool in helping people make informed decision at retirement. And it would be a game changer for the way consumers interact and engage with their pensions savings.

But worryingly, recent reports suggest that the entire project could now be at risk.

Retirement decisions can be one of the most complex decisions that we make in our lives and often the information that we most need is not readily or easily available.

We know that nearly half of those over 50 (47%) are not sure of the value of their pensions savings, and over a third of people (37%) approaching retirement find it difficult to keep track of their pension pots.

We’ve been calling on the Government to swiftly introduce a pensions dashboard to help ensure consumers are making the most of their retirement savings.

As a result of our campaigning, the government committed the pensions industry to deliver the project by 2019 with a feasibility study setting out the direction for the project expected this Summer.

However, ourselves, the pensions industry and other charities have raised serious concerns about reports that the project could be delayed or scrapped completely.

Failing to give the dashboard the greenlight would be a huge missed opportunity to really empower consumers to take control of their financial future.

Even a slight delay could mean thousands of consumers are left without adequate information about one of the most crucial decisions of their lives.

Demanding action

Successfully introducing a pensions dashboard will be vital for everyone who is saving for their retirement. We want a dashboard that is transparent, trustworthy and comprehensive and we need strong leadership from Government to help deliver it.

As more and more people are being auto-enrolled into a workplace pension, it is now more important than ever that the Government remains committed to the dashboard.

We are calling on the Government to stick to its promise and act now to ensure the pensions dashboard fulfils its potential to boost consumer engagement, transform the sector and help people make informed decisions that will guarantee a comfortable retirement.

Do you find it hard to keep track of your pension pot? Are you aware of its value? Do you agree the system is confused and requires reform?

Comments

Another fudge by this Government. Make no mistake- a pensions dashboard is vital to ensure everyone can track their pension pots and ensure they plan for retirement, as well informed and up-to-date as possible. Don’t settle for anything less. Hutton’s State Pension Review instigated by Labour and pushed through by Cameron’s Conservatives did nothing but defer everybody’s – especially women’s state pension retirement age (WASPI ) further and further back – in effect you work until you drop. Support WHICH’s important campaign.

Why would the government not make it easier for pensions to be tracked by the investors into them? It makes NO sense at all not to have the pension dash board and it should be a given right to track what you own.

Over 50 years it is very difficult to keep track of one’s pensions if one has had several jobs, a pensions dashboard solves this problem so why on earth would the government not consider it a good idea?

I am lucky as I only have one pension – I was a teacher for 39 years. However, I can fully appreciate how difficult it can be to keep track of pensions if one has moved employers and changed pension arrangements. I found keeping track of one pension with moves around different positions and countries difficult and I have post graduate education (so should be able to understand all this stuff). The government has a responsibility to make pension arrangements as simple and secure as possible for people at all levels of employment…as you can be sure the sharks are circling out there and will exploit people at any opportunity and take advantage of any misunderstandings or confusion which might arise.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

This comment was removed at the request of the user

I think this was always likely. The ABI engineered the prototype stage and the industry has a vast amount of information on existing policies. Seems to make sense to let them develop a full blown system if they are prepared to do it. Better than the alternative, which would be the government outsourcing the whole project to one of the incompetent service providers.

Agreed. Presumably if the government were to run it – either in-house or outsourced – it would have to ‘buy’ all the required data from the multiplicity of pensions providers. This could cost a lot and take a long time to acquire it all and integrate it for presentation via the dashboard.

Sarah Rowley says:
4 December 2018

This make sense for us and the government, if it’s easier for us it’s easier for them and saves unnecessary searches and confusion. Thank you for taking action on our behalf

After years trying to persuade employees to take an interest in pensions I do despair. The dash board will be a good idea if used but we are in danger of thinking that the dashboard will be an achievement in itself. It will not, Its only one link in the chain.

Great idea, until it gets hacked! Do you really trust having all that information in one place?

Tracey says:
4 December 2018

When i was young i pulled out of the NHS pension many many years ago on bad advice – i was very young and i did not know much about pensions. Unbelievably i bought a new carpet that i badly needed for warmth with that money!!! But as i grew older i saw in horror what happened to peoples pensions and how they were withered away by poor investments and mistakes and even worse financial advice. It is such a long term investment it seemed so risky to me. I saw my step dad who was an accountant lose a lot of pension money! I decided by instinct more than anything else that i would not indulge in such a corrupt system over such a long time with such uncertainties in our financial future. While i still am of that opinion I do feel slightly vulnerable of my future going forward. I expect to work beyond my retirement but i hope to be self employed so that at least i can really enjoy my work and feel energized rather than constantly drained. Its work in progress.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Tracey – I don’t know your current age or occupation so some of what I am saying might not be relevant.

It was most unfortunate that you were given such bad advice that caused you to leave the NHS pension scheme when you were very young and needed the money to make life more comfortable. You should not reproach yourself for that, but I am surprised you were able to stop participating because I thought it was a condition of service for all NHS employees to be in the pension scheme. Maybe there were special circumstances in your case.

As perhaps you now realise, the NHS pension scheme is a good scheme and government-backed so it is not affected by the problems of closure or insufficient funding or under-performing investments that have arisen in some other employments. If you are not already doing so you should try to save for your later life as the state retirement pension is barely adequate for decent survival.

Just as a matter of information, and it doesn’t apply to you if you don’t have a public service pension, a defined-benefit pension – one like the NHS scheme where you get a specific income based on a proportion of your final salary multiplied by the number of contributory years – cannot be cashed-in under the present law. That only applies to defined-contribution pensions in which the contributor builds up a pension pot of salary deductions and income from investments the performance of which can affect the income provided after retirement. If you have or are considering one of those, be very careful and take plenty of independent advice before taking out any amount of cash from your pension pot. If you do become self-employed you might wish to start a self-invested pension plan to provide some income after you stop working. Again, make sure you get independent advice before committing yourself.

My State Pension was frozen (no increases) seven years ago by the UK government because I chose to be close to my family in Canada. If I had chosen to move to USA or more than forty other countries in the world I would get the yearly government State Pension increase. I paid into the pension my full working life, how can the government still keep this archaic ruling. I will always know what and where my pension is for ever and ever Amen…. Shame on you UK Government for keeping my money.

I don’t know the history of the reciprocal pension arrangements between certain countries but I assume both countries must agree that they will continue to apply in perpetuity the annual pension increases that are implemented in the respective country of origin. This is, presumably, to avoid the foreign national becoming a burden on the host state’s welfare system of last resort, but that seems to me to be exactly what might happen if there is no bilateral agreement, especially in a country with a relatively high cost of living. Perhaps Canada and the UK have not been able to reach such an agreement. If your pension was frozen some time after you had made the once-in-a-lifetime to become domiciled in Canada it seems particularly unfair.

The money you contributed towards your state pension was spent in each year of payment, so no fund was accumulated and the UK government is not “keeping your money”. Presumably you stopped making any further UK tax or National Insurance contributions once you moved to Canada. The pension you are getting today from the UK government is being paid for by today’s UK workers and taxpayers and possibly the government in office at the time yours was frozen decided that uprating pensions to expatriate pensioners could no longer be justified economically unless there were reciprocal agreements in place.

While living in Canada you are not contributing to the UK tax base which funds pensions. Your spending goes to the Canadian economy and tax base. Your pension is at the time you stopped contributing by living and spending in the UK economy.

It should be mandated that all Pension providers must update the dashboard for all customers and that this dashboard should include the State Pension without which the whole purpose of this becomes futile

Gordon Cooling says:
9 April 2019

I will wait,patiently, but not forever! Keep up the pressure Which.

I wish this had been around when I retired back in 2010. I had to take a leap in the dark. It’s about time light was shed on what it the most important life choice you have left to make!

I personally think that these proposals are at least forty years to late. I was made redundant in 2009 with little prospect of rejoining the workforce it took me two years to sort out my pension worth and where it was. A lot of pension providers amalgamated several times so who had mine now and what was its value. Fortunately being out of work and slightly computer literate I was able to negotiate the nightmare.

Angela says:
9 April 2019

There is no point in pension planning. Whatever you do, the government will find a way to stuff it up , or relieve you of your assets somehow.
Or, like they have already done, just raid the state pension pot to pay for something else!

The dashboard could be hugely dangerous, if fraudsters find their way in, and find out how much people have got.
Every dashboard enquiry should have warnings attached, so that people are aware of potential dangers.

Jim Horton says:
9 April 2019

I think that it is an excellent idea. People can see where their pensions are being invested and, if interested, the extent to which the investments are ethical. Whether or not the pensions are being invested in totally ruthless companies whose only concerns are profit overe the welfare of local and indigenous people can also be ascertained.

I do not know why we expect any sense from politicians and I shall be surprised if any arrives over this issue.