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”.
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.
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?