John Lawson, head of financial research at Aviva, has called on the Financial Conduct Authority to regulate pension dashboard operators in order for the ambitious industry-wide project to work.
He said it was vital that pension dashboard operators weren’t allowed to rip-off data from other sites and that all providers were forced to share data about the nation’s retirement income pots.
During the 2016 Budget, the government made a commitment that pensions dashboards would be created by the industry, enabling everyone to view details of all their pensions together in one place, giving them a better idea of their wealth and likely retirement income.
The government’s objective is for the service to be available to consumers by 2019. But it has left the design and much of the implementation of the project to the industry to work out.
A prototype of the dashboard was launched by the Association of British Insurers back in March.
Mr Lawson said the pension dashboard will begin to build a platform for that where you can do that across all your pensions, whether they are defined benefit or defined contribution pensions or your state pension.
But he said more work was needed to make the pension dashboard fulfil it’s potential.
Mr Lawson said: “It will gather together all the details of the pensions you have in one place. Initially it will just be information so unlike the My Aviva App, where you can transact on it, it will just be how big your pot is, where your pot is.
“In the long-term I would expect additional functionality to be added, like transfers. So, if you want to drag and drop one pension to another pension then it will allow you to do that subject to checks and balances.
“So, if you have got a guaranteed pension then it might not allow you to do that.
“We have looked at data issue and where data might be more difficult to get your hands on, for example, such as old defined benefit schemes that are still listed on some Excel spreadsheet.
“There is a lot of work still going on with the pensions dashboard but what we are hoping for is for the government to take some ownership of this again and provide some moral support.
“The industry can deliver this on its own but we really need the government to say it is serious about this and it is worth carrying this forward.
“What we recommend is for the government to demand mandatory participation in this. If you don’t see all your pensions on this people will lose a bit of trust in this.
“We need effective regulation from the FCA. We don’t want dashboard operators who are just going to skim data, for example. It needs to be secure and properly regulated and governed by a government body.”
A spokesman for the FCA said it was a matter for HM Treasury as to whether it would regulate the dashboard.