Mr Howorth says: “I think what probably needs to happen next is to determine some data standards. We need to decide how we’re going to identify people so that they have the right data. This is going to happen in phases.
“There will be the first phase, which will contain certain data about different pension pots, and then I would suspect over two or three years the quantum of the data will increase. What’s most important is that we get the whole of the industry participating, if necessary.“
Hayley North, financial planner at London-based firm Rose and North, suggests that providing standardised data is “a moral responsibility”.
Ms North says: “There are providers I can’t bear dealing with, but unfortunately we have to several times a year. They have no client interest in mind at all. They’re all about what they want and need and nothing about customer service. So, they will eventually be dragged screaming into this, and that can only be a good thing because ultimately that will then resolve those problems.”
Echoing Ms North’s frustrations, Mr McKenna adds that schemes with poor standards should face the consequences. “My own view is that there should be far more severe penalties for trustees that don’t keep good records. I know that won’t be popular in certain areas, but, frankly, if people with an FCA-regulated business behaved in the way some trustees do in trust-based schemes, the FCA would come down on them like a ton of bricks. I don’t really see why they’re allowed to get away with it.”
Highlighting the efforts made by some regulatory bodies with regards to poor data standards, he continues: “To be fair to TPR, they are very aware of the quality of record keeping with some schemes and they are making it clear that they will expect them to improve that record keeping.”
Dashboards around the world
A number of countries had dashboard projects up and running long before the FCA had put forward the recommendation for its own version in December 2014.
Sweden’s dashboard model has had some growing pains, but was first established as early as 2004, five years after the Swedish Pensions Agency launched their relatively limited paper version of the service – an annual statement on the state pension.
Following a Royal London conference on ‘Pensions dashboards around the world’, the provider published a paper under the same name outlining the successes and shortfalls of dashboards in the Netherlands, Sweden and Australia, with a view to apply any valuable insights to the UK project.