Industry figures have rushed to welcome the spring 2017 deadline for the inception of the pensions dashboard that will allow UK savers to see all of their retirement money in one place.
Earlier today, eleven of the largest pension providers have told HM Treasury they will be able to feature on the dashboard.
The Cross-Industry Project Group will be reporting regularly to HM Treasury, who will oversee the project following the commitment in the Budget to launch a pensions dashboard by 2019.
As part of the prototype the group will agree the design of infrastructure for data sharing, build and demonstrate a basic working prototype using anonymised customer data and a digital ID and propose potential solutions for the development of an industry-wide dashboard.
Fiona Tait, pensions specialist at Royal London, said she believes the pensions dashboard has huge potential to improve consumer outcomes and will become a vital tool to help savers and their advisers to create a realistic plan for their retirement.
But Ms Tait added there was a lot of work to be carried out to meet the next deadline of March 2017.
Morten Nilsson chief executive of Now: Pensions said the development of a prototype pensions dashboard is a huge step forward for the industry with immediate and obvious benefits for savers.
“One of the inevitable side effects of auto-enrolment will be a huge rise in the number of pension pots individuals will accumulate over the course of their working lives.
“Over 40 years of saving, it will be easy to lose sight of these pension pots and a pensions dashboard will make keeping track of pension savings a less onerous task. A dashboard will also help savers better understand what their income is likely to be in retirement allowing them to build a realistic savings plan for the future.”
AJ Bell senior analyst Tom Selby said the key with the pensions dashboard is how quickly it can be expanded beyond the initial ABI remit so that it becomes of real use to people.
“The dashboard must be able to accommodate state pension savings as a starting point, given the fact this is the foundation on which private savings are built.
“It’s vital that the pensions dashboard is as all-encompassing as possible, and most modern platforms, personal pension providers and auto-enrolment schemes should have no problem linking into the technology once it is built.
“However, closed-book providers operating on outdated back-office technology systems may need to be dragged kicking and screaming to participate - through legislation if necessary.”
Kirsty Worgan, head of sales EMEA at Bravura Solutions said the possibility of creating a dashboard to make pensions simpler has slipped down the agenda with the recent constitutional upheavals, so it’s a relief to hear that the new government and those in the industry are still taking this seriously.