Pension Dashboard  

Pension dashboard denies access to advisers

Pension dashboard denies access to advisers

Financial advisers will not be able to access clients’ information by proxy in the initial pension dashboard, according to a report from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The dashboard will allow information to be exported in some manner, but the consumer must be present to gain access to the data in the first place.

This means advisers will only have access if they request the data from their clients.

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Also, consumers won’t be able to change basic information or access pension charges and underlying investments in the initial dashboard.

Today (12 October) a project group, managed by the ABI and including 16 industry providers and the trade body Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), has set out its recommendations for what should happen next with the pension dashboard.

The plan behind the pension dashboard, which is due to be launched in 2019, is to create the technology to enable savers to see all of their retirement pots in one place at the same time, giving them a greater awareness of their assets and how to plan for their retirement.

The document, which sets a roadmap for the implementation of the pension dashboard, sets out the requirements for a minimum viable product, and the functionalities that are left out from the initial phase.

According to the ABI, this “product does not need to include all the possible functionality at launch, and adding too much extra functionality would add significant risks to meeting a planned 2019 timescale”.

It is not clear if adviser will ever be granted direct access to the information.

The ABI's report stated that in the mid-term, “a number of technical solutions maybe found that will allow for delegate/proxy access for a third party, once the consumer has provided consent”.

However, any delegated access proposal “would need to be acceptable to stakeholders from a legal and data security perspective,” it added.

The inclusion of guidance or advice for consumers when accessing the dashboard was not fully evaluated by ABI when setting up the minimum requirements.

The trade body suggested that this is reviewed alongside regulatory requirements as part of the project delivery.

William Burrows, retirement director at Better Retirement, said he has seen a demonstration of the proposed pensions dashboard, which he considers to be “impressive”, as it “combines ease of use with some complex data capture”.

He said: “I don’t think the issue is new features but rather with making sure the dashboard information is presented with the right communications.

 According to Mr Burrows, pension transparency can be a double edge sword.

He said: “On the one hand, it is only right that people should see the value of their pension pots online, but on the other hand we need to appreciate if money is dangled in front of people we should not be surprised if they want to take it as soon as they can.”