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Pensions dashboard: a simpler way to save for retirement?

The pensions dashboard could revolutionise the way we plan for retirement – our guest Guy Opperman MP, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, makes the case for it.

Facts at your fingertips. That is the simple idea behind pioneering proposals for new ‘pensions dashboards’ which will let you check your pension information on a smartphone or tablet for the first time.

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.

If we can manage our bank accounts and credit cards and pay the bills at the touch of a screen we should be able to keep on top of our important pension investments online too.

Top of the pots

Accurate, easy to understand, secure information showing us clearly how much we have in our pension pots and what we can expect to have to live on in retirement. And even helping us to find ‘lost’ pension pots.

I have been hugely encouraged by the initial response to the Department for Work and Pensions’ feasibility report into pensions dashboards unveiled earlier this month.

As Jenni Allen, Managing Director of Which? Money, said on the day I hosted a packed event in Parliament to launch the Government’s consultation on our vision, “pensions dashboards must work for consumers”.

Jenni welcomed what could be “a game-changing improvement to the way people manage their pensions”.

Dashboard choice

And pensions dashboards are now on the road to becoming a reality. The first dashboard is expected in 2019.

We have proposed that the new Single Financial Guidance Body – which will bring together services provided by the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise – will convene a delivery group of key players from industry, financial technology and consumer organisations like Which? to enable successful implementation of multiple dashboards.

Consumer protection and safeguarding data will be paramount.

The Government believes that consumers will benefit from having a wide choice of dashboards, and will work with the pensions industry to include State Pension information in due course.

Development and design of dashboards will be industry-led, facilitated by Government. We will legislate where necessary, for instance to compel pension schemes to give consumers data through dashboards.

Pension revolution

The dashboards need to be seen against the backdrop of the private pensions revolution which the Government is supporting industry to deliver.

In just five years, the proportion of eligible employees participating in a workplace pension rose from 55 per cent, in 2012, to 84 per cent in 2017.

This increase has been especially marked for young people. Among those aged 22 to 29 years, participation leapt from 35 per cent to 79 per cent over the same period.

Automatic enrolment into workplace pension schemes, launched in 2012, has created nearly 10 million new savers – a transformation of our savings culture.

We want people to get all the help they need to get ready for retirement. Pensions dashboards are another major milestone in this Government’s radical pension reforms, harnessing innovative technology to put consumers in control and revolutionise how we plan for later life.

This is a guest post by Guy Opperman. All views expressed are Guy’s own and not necessarily those also shared by Which?.

What do you think about the pensions dashboard – are they a good idea? Would you have any concerns using one?

Comments
DerekP says:
20 December 2018

Interesting post.

Starting with WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) I followed the above link and discovered:

“A pensions dashboard is an online service which would allow people to see information from multiple pensions, all in one place.”

and

“As a minimum, pensions dashboards can help to:
* increase individual awareness and understanding of their pension information and estimated retirement income
* build a greater sense of individual control and ownership of pensions
* increase engagement, with more people taking advantage of the available advice and impartial guidance
* support the advice and guidance process by providing people with access to their pensions information at a time of their choosing
* reconnect individuals with lost pension pots, benefitting the individual and industry
* enable more informed user choices in the decumulation phase (the point when a decision is made by a saver on how to access their savings) by making it easier to access the information on which to base these decisions”

and

“A dashboard service must operate in a way that balances industry innovation with data security. ”

Oh yes. Imaging having a single App that gives access to all one’s money on an easily losable or stealable device like a smartphone. Boy is that going to need very good data security.

But worst of all, would it become more or less compulsory to use this kind of tool?

Not everyone wants to be forced towards the use of smartphones and tablets (etc.) for personal financial management. Many of those on benefits will already be aware of the catch-22 situation in which a lot of the process for making and updating claims requires adequate internet access, when, if you’re already broke, you won’t be able to afford that (and you might not be living close to a decent free wifi hot spot or public library).

Derek they have a “trial ” website I had a look at it its got a vimeo video with a built in tracker thanks to GTM -Google Tag Manager same idea as YouTube embedded videos, also Google Analytics .
It also contains New Relic on trying to check on it ( new relic docs ) my blockers blocked it as -hp hosts, Ad and tracking servers with a big –Go Back !
Now I would though with something so serious and vital that it would only have green 1st party listings , not so –you wont believe this even the actual basic New Relic website is blocked by my blockers same issue.
Thank goodness I dont need to use it got the info years ago via my “old fangled ” phone ( no trackers on that ).

Personally, I’m not convinced that this will be secure. Why? Well it’s only as secure as it’s weakest link, and as always it’s the human user. Once this goes live just wait for all the emails, there’s a problem with the account please click here to verify …

It might be a nice idea, but I’ll need a lot of convincing it’s not going to be a fraudsters dream.

DerekP says:
21 December 2018

I also share those concerns.

Robert Harvey says:
21 December 2018

I have ended up with 3 pensions (4 if you include the state pension) having worked in IT for over 45 years. A dashboard would have been useful during the last 10 years. My concern is that it will need to regulate the providers who will wish you to switch to them.

For information, my wife who worked in pharmacy for over 40 years has 3 pensions and will get her state pension in 2014 .

George Morley says:
4 May 2019

Guy Opperman is the last person ton ask about rip off charges was mynforst thought but then after consideration I changed my mind because he condones and defends one of the worst cases of pension rip off cases which is the GOVERNMENT STATE PENSION. A worker has to pay contributions along with his employer to the National Insurance Fund – note the name of this fund which suggests that there should be no problem when it comes to retirement and receipt of the full pension when finally retiring but there is a but ? In retirement a pensioner is denied the opportunity ton retire to a place of his choice without having the pension indexation withheld and the pension payments year in year out from this time will not receive any indexation ever whilst they remain in their chosen country if it is one of many where the Government choose to freeze this pension entitlement ? Why is a question that remains unanswered because the Fund is running a surplus at this time with sufficient to pay all current pensioners their rightful pension upratng as they choose to call it .It all hinges around the government policy to demand a reciprocal agreement with the country or residence of the pensioner which in fact has no relevance to the pension as it is purely a UK GOVERNMENT domestic issue and nothing to do with any other country ? This policy is currently affecting over 500,000 pensioners worldwide and is seen as being an unnecessary and punitive policy without any basis for being there at all as it is nothing more than fraud by using government parliamentary power by an act to impose this which is seen as abuse by the electorate and must end by granting the proper pension payments to all pensioners so denied. It must be pointed out that many pensioners abroad do see their full pension without a problem and of those affected it amounts to about 4% of pensioners with 96% seeing no problems. Fraud by government is totally unacceptable and this must stop with some form of compensation given to those currently denied who have lost thousands of pounds over many years of pension deprivation not to mention the mental anguish caused by having to be careful in spending as they are receiving just a small percentage of their rightful amount as inflation which is a reason for the indexation is still present for them and has not stopped because their indexation stopped ?

I believe it is fair to restrict UK state retirement pension enhancements in countries where there is no reciprocal agreement. State pensions [and certain other insurance benefits] are funded from current taxation [which includes National Insurance] and people living abroad are not contributing to the UK’s revenues [e.g. through VAT and excise duties on certain products and services]. The NI fund might be in surplus at present but has sometimes been in deficit. It is underwritten by the UK government and has never failed to pay out what is a pensioner’s legitimate entitlement.

It is understandably annoying for a small percentage of expatriate pensioners to see their incomes stagnate but all the guidance I have seen on the question of choosing a foreign domicile has pointed out the state pension implications and recommended people to take them into account in planning their future. To accuse successive governments of fraud is unfair since they have been open and upfront on this issue, in my experience at least.