Pension Dashboard 

Pensions minister pledges DWP lead on dashboard

Pensions minister pledges DWP lead on dashboard

Guy Opperman has said the Department for Work and Pensions will take over responsibility for helping industry to bring the pension dashboard to market, after criticism about the Treasury's handling of the policy.

Writing in The Times ahead of his appearance today at the Pensions & Lifetime Savings Association conference, the pensions minister said the DWP would now take the lead on the issue.

Responsibility for the dashboard previously lay with HM Treasury and the project has been criticised for a lack of clarity from the government.

Mr Opperman said: “There has been speculation as to whether the government wants to proceed with the pensions dashboard.

“I want to make it clear that this project will go ahead. The dashboard is a key part of our desire to ensure consumers are able to understand their pensions and plan properly for their future.”

He added that if this was not addressed, the pensions industry risked being “left behind” in the “online revolution”.

Mr Opperman said: “Working with industry, consumer facing organisations and regulators, this is a real opportunity for us to deliver an easily accessible online platform that allows consumers to see all of their pensions in one place.

“It’s an exciting project and one I look forward to being personally involved with.”

The pension dashboard, which is due to be ready for 2019, would allow savers to see all their retirement pots in one place at the same time.

The government has previously insisted that it will not pay for the dashboard, nor deliver it, demanding instead that the financial services industry itself come up with a workable solution to the problem of people having many pots with often unknown amounts in them.

This prompted some to question the government's enthusiasm for the project.

Sir Steve Webb, one of Mr Opperman’s predecessors as pensions minister and now director of policy at Royal London, said government engagement was “vitally important”, adding that Mr Opperman’s announcement today was a “huge step forward”.

He said: “The government can help to ensure that state pensions and public service pensions are included in the dashboard and can legislate to require all private pension schemes to supply data to the dashboard.

“Other countries have had services of this sort for many years and it is time that the UK caught up, especially given the fragmented nature of much UK pension provision.”

damian.fantato@ft.com

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