Emma Ann Hughes 

Pension dashboard shows value not worth

Emma Ann Hughes

Emma Ann Hughes

People are passionate about property, and the reason why is clear: is all it takes is a quick walk past the estate agent's window or typing in your postcode on Zoopla to find the current value of your home.

If you want to cash in the value of your bricks and mortar then to get the ball rolling all you have to do is call an estate agent or list your abode on the growing number of sell-your-own home websites that exist these days.

In an ideal world the pension dashboard should finally make it as easy for the nation to feel warm and cuddly about the cash they are squirreling away for retirement as an estate agents window makes them feel about that decision to fix the leaky flat roof of your home.

The pension dashboard is a great idea but to make it an amazing reality the Association of British Insurers published a paper yesterday (12 October) that demanded the government pulls their fingers out if the pensions dashboard is going to be anything more than a way to just see how much cash is currently in some of your pension pots.

The ABI called for a clear roadmap to the implementation of the pension dashboard, consisting of legislation, a timetable and a non-commercial platform.

The plan behind the pension dashboard, which is due to be launched in 2019, is to create the technology to enable savers to see all of their retirement pots in one place at the same time, giving them a greater awareness of their assets and how to plan for their retirement.

One of the key proposals put forward by the ABI's paper is that the government needs to legislate to ensure that all pension providers and schemes make their data available - a dashboard that only shows you the value of some of your posts is as rubbish as an estate agents window that only shows the value of your garage.

According to Yvonne Braun, ABI director of policy, long-term savings and protection, it is “time for the government to lay its cards on the table and be clear about what it is prepared to commit to this important project, and when”.

She said: “For such a service to succeed it needs to be as comprehensive as possible, as soon as possible, and anything which involves people’s life savings must be effectively regulated.”

Currently - unless the government heeds the words of the ABI and makes it compulsory for providers to deliver information about every pot in their possession - the pensions dashboard will fail to engage you with the worth of your savings pot in the future.

In Lady Windemere’s Fan, Oscar Wilde had Lord Darlington quip that a cynic was "a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing".

I fear the pension dashboard will make cynics rather than engaged savers of us all unless the government listens to the ABI.