Pension Dashboard  

Pensions dashboard group hire raises delivery questions

Pensions dashboard group hire raises delivery questions

HM Treasury has appointed self-proclaimed "financial technology evangelist" Ian McKenna to the steering group of the Pension Dashboard.

Mr McKenna, who is director of the Finance & Technology Research Centre, will join the steering group as one of the the two independent members tasked with the job of providing "challenge to the process and project as it develops".

The other independent member of the steering group is prominent pensions industry figure and non-executive director of The Pensions Regulator Margaret Snowdon. 

Mr McKenna's appointment came two weeks after Treasury announced a prototype of the dashboard would be ready by March 2017.

The aim of the Pensions Dashboard is to allow consumers to view all their various pension pots in one place, making it easier for them to take control of and consolidate their retirement savings.

However, the design of the dashboard has been a matter of controversy. Many in the industry are pushing for a single dashboard, built either by government or by a single provider.

Others, though, are pushing for an open market that would allow fintech providers to build competing dashboards which they would then sell to pension providers and others, such financial advice firms.

There is also debate over whether or not to make the dashboard compulsory.

Mr McKenna has previously stated the dashboard should be open to competition, but that it should be compulsory for all pension providers to make their members' relevant data available.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Simon Kirby earlier this month stated that Treasury favoured a "flexible" and open dashboard. 

“No single dashboard can meet the needs of millions of people who all have very different individual circumstances. There is definitely no government website that could do that either," he said.

Mr McKenna's appointment was further evidence of Treasury's commitment to the open model.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr McKenna: “It is refreshing to see how committed the Treasury team are to ensuring this is an open, transparent initiative, bringing together the best from the pensions industry and fintech. Their energy, focus and commitment is clearly catalysing an unprecedented level of cross-industry support.”

He added that the dashboard would be an "enormous opportunity for financial advisers", allowing them to bring together client information that is currently difficult access.

james.fernyhough@ft.com