After nearly two years of discussion so far, the first question to ask is: "Is the pensions industry ready for the pension dashboard?"
The answer, according to some respondents to this guide, is yes. For some, it is no. For Andy Kirby, founder of The Pensions Portal, it is “both yes and no”.
But before exploring why opinions differ on pensions dashboard readiness, what exactly is the dashboard?
In a nutshell, it is a place where consumers can log on and view all their pension pots on one place. It sounds like something that, given all the technological advances over the past decades, should have and could have been done before.
Philip Brown, head of policy at LV=, describes the dashboard as “a much-needed piece of technology that will give consumers a clear understanding of all their pensions in one place, and could help them take action to lead more comfortable lives in retirement".
Mr Brown comments: "It will use information that is already being shared with advisers electronically in a matter of moments, so although this is a sizeable project, it is the next logical step for the industry in enabling consumers to manage their retirement savings."
However, he adds it will only be of utmost effect and use to consumers if all the providers and schemes sign up.
Mr Brown adds: “It is also vital government makes it compulsory for providers and schemes to take part if participation is slow, as without widespread take up, the dashboard will not benefit as many of the consumers it has the capacity to help.”
Ready? Aye, ready
Yes, the industry is ready in that it understand what the dashboard is, what it will achieve, and it is prepared for the possibilities it offers for long-term pension planning.
As Richard Nuttall, head of compliance policy for SimplyBiz comments: "We believe the industry is more than ready for the dashboard. Theoretically.”
He explains the industry is already au fait with how the dashboard will work in principle and what is needed to make it work.
“A dashboard will pull verified information into one central hub and should be much easier for both clients and advisers,” he states.
And yes, the industry has already taken great strides in terms of developing platforms and engaging with customers and advisers.
Rob Yuille, head of retirement policy for the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the trade body spearheading the development of the pensions dashboard, says providers are “taking an active approach to tackling the challenges which need to be overcome”.
He explains: “Many firms, insurers and others, already use an array of digital platforms to communicate with consumers and their financial advisers, although these operate in silos and can only show consumers a partial picture of their future retirement income.”