Life and pensions fund provider Phoenix Life has hosted one of the five pensions dashboard events convened by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), at its main operating centre in Wythall near Birmingham.
It showcased the dashboard prototype to members of the life and pensions industry and stakeholders including financial advisers and providers.
Phoenix Life was one of the early participants in the prototype project and – including the newly acquired Abbey Life business – is the first closed life and pension fund provider to join.
An estimated 100 people attended the event that included a session outlining the background of the pensions dashboard and a demonstration of the prototype system, recently presented to government ministers, ahead of discussions about how a future service could be developed and operated for the good of pension savers.
According to Phoenix Life, the sessions were designed to “encourage challenge and flush out” some of the problems which needed to be overcome before a system of multiple pensions dashboards can be made available for public use.
Susan McInnes, customer director at Phoenix Life, said that as early members of the project the company was “committed to improving access to information for our pension customers to ensure they make the best decisions regarding their retirement”. It confirmed that the dashboard was a big step forward in improving the process.
Yvonne Braun, director of long-term savings and protection policy at the ABI, said: “The project to deliver a pensions dashboard system the public will be able to use by 2019 is progressing rapidly. It has the potential to revolutionise how people relate to their pensions and make plans for their retirement.
“But overcoming the technological hurdles is only the first step. That’s why it is crucial people from all parts of the pensions world join us at events like this one in Birmingham to help work out how to put the right framework in place so that pensions dashboards can become trusted sources of information for everyone.”
Paul Hurley, head of professional development and competence at financial adviser firm Foster Denovo, said: “The Pension Dashboard Challenge Forum was an excellent opportunity to see how things have progressed so far. I believe there are two potential stumbling blocks. The first is compulsion. In order to get the maximum benefit from all of the work to date, there must be compulsion on all providers, trustees and administrators to comply.
“Secondly the government and ministers, whatever colour wins the election, have to continue to support this initiative. There should be no meddling with the work the experts in this field have completed to date, from people who may have different priorities.”