The government should be discussing how it is going to fund the pension dashboard, argued Margaret Snowdon, chair of the Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA).
In her reaction to the publication of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) roadmap to the implementation of the pension dashboard, Ms Snowdon said: “The government should now be looking at creative ways to support these essential improvements for the benefit of the nation.
“This will be the much-needed boost to energise the industry about [the] dashboard and PASA looks forward to playing its part.”
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.
One of ABI’s key proposals is that the government needs to legislate to ensure that all pension providers and schemes make their data available.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has said, in the meantime, that it will start asking schemes to report on member data and record keeping in their scheme return, from next year.
According to Darren Ryder, director of automatic enrolment at The Pensions Regulator, the goal of the ABI's paper is to “build a better understanding of where improvements need to be made” and where the regulator may need to take action.
According to Gareth Shaw, money expert at independent consumer body Which?, “it should be compulsory for all pension schemes to feed information to the dashboard, so there is a comprehensive and easy-to-use system for people to keep track of their savings”.
He said: “Only then can people properly plan and make informed decisions for their retirement.”
Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said legislation will inevitably be needed to ensure maximum coverage, particularly from closed-book providers, which hold information on outdated systems that would likely require expensive upgrades.
He said: “(Prime minister) Theresa May’s weakened position and a government fixated on Brexit risk forcing the pension dashboard project off the political agenda.
“The ABI is clearly concerned about a lack of will from Whitehall and today’s (12 October) announcement looks like an attempt to kick policymakers into action.”
Due to this lack of involvement from the government, Mr Selby argued that the “proposed 2019 implementation deadline might be a stretch”.
He said: “What the industry really needs from the government is clarity on its commitment to the dashboard project and the extent to which it will commit time and money to making it a reality.”
Paul Pettitt, managing director of fintech company Origo, said that “there is no reason why dashboards should not go live by 2019”, since the firm’s experience has shown that there “are no technological barriers to success”.
He said: “Given the immense social purpose and the significant momentum already behind this project it should not be allowed to fail.”