Providers unveil plans for pensions dashboard

Providers unveil plans for pensions dashboard

Pension providers should be able to white-label a standard pensions dashboard, under proposals announced today by a group of 14 organisations including insurance companies, master trusts, banks and government bodies.

The group – which included Aviva, Nest, the Association of British Insurers, Barclays, LV, B&CE and the Cabinet Office, under the auspices of the Money Advice Service – today produced a white paper detailing how a pension dashboard should work.

The paper stated the dashboard should be a single, centralised system that providers could put on their website under their own branding.

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The dashboard would allow members to locate all of their existing pension pots held with various providers on a single site, the paper stated.

The group also agreed that, for the time being, supplying pension details to the dashboard should be voluntary, though some stakeholders said legislation might prove necessary to force providers to participate later on.

The group’s white paper followed a call from HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority for the pension industry to create a pensions dashboard by 2019.

The group set out three priorities for what they called the “alpha phase” of development: to create a governance framework for the dashboard; to build the technology and test it on consumers; and to encourage fintech start-ups to get involved.

Speaking at the launch of the white paper, Aviva UK Life’s director of strategy James Ward said while the pension dashboard would not be a “panacea”, it would be a huge step forward in encouraging the public to engage with their retirement savings.

He predicted it would also encourage members to seek financial advice.

“Another thing often missed on this is that the dashboard will be a huge time saver for professional advisers, who do a lot of this stuff manually,” Mr Ward said.

Zoe Alexander, director of public policy at Nest, said she was under no illusions that once the dashboard is built, “all our members – particularly Nest-type members who are relatively young and have relatively small pots – are suddenly going to start looking at this thing”.

However, she said it would be a first step on the long road towards increased engagement.

“Everyone agrees that having something that shows you what you’ve saved so far and what it might mean for retirement, is the first piece of that jigsaw.”

Other priorities included funding, member data protection and whether defined benefit schemes would be included on the dashboard.

No firm details were given on who would bear the cost of developing the dashboard, although the government has already ruled out providing any funding itself.

The Association of British Insurers and the Money Advice Service’s white paper also floated the possibility of seed funding from the existing group members, and introducing a mandatory levy on all industry participants.

Anna Sofat, a financial adviser and founder of Addidi Wealth, said a centralised pensions database was “long overdue”.