The government’s pension dashboard remit could be widened out to help millions of people plan for their retirement, Adrian Boulding has said.
The retirement strategy director at technology firm Dunstan Thomas said the dashboard could in future take on a much wider role than initially envisioned, as a considerable number of baby boomers expressed interest in using it as a planning tool.
The dashboard project was borne out of a need to create an overview of people’s pension savings following the pension freedom reforms in 2015, which gave all defined contribution savers free reign over their cash from age 55.
It was originally designed as an online portal facility that would enable all previous pension policies to be viewed in one place.
The project was given a boost in recent weeks when it received official government backing and responsibility for its delivery was transferred from HM Treasury to the Department of Work & Pensions.
The government plans to present a feasibility study on the dashboard in the spring, as outlined by pensions minister Guy Oppermann at a recent conference.
Pension savers already have access to the government's free at retirement guidance service Pension Wise, which will become part of a new guidance body amalgamating The Pension Advisory Service and the Money Advice Service early next year.
Despite this, Dunstan Thomas found widespread interest among baby boomers in using the dashboard for their retirement income and decumulation planning.
The firm carried out research among 1,002 baby boomers (aged 54 to 71) in the summer of this year.
About 22 per cent said they planned to use the dashboard to assess whether they have got enough in their pension pots to hit their retirement income target.
A further one in five wanted to use it to work out how much they could draw down monthly from their pension without running out of money too quickly.
Another group (15 per cent) planned to run comparisons between decumulation options, while others (13 per cent) wanted to work out how much they needed to set aside for an adequate long-term care pot.
Mr Boulding said: "These findings confirm our view that consumers will not take kindly to a dashboard that does not support post-retirement decumulation decision-making as well as pre-retirement accumulation and at-retirement decision-making.
"The line between pre- and post-retirement is irreversibly blurred and the pensions dashboard must reflect this."
Question: The government and pension industry are developing an online tool, a pensions dashboard, to be launched in 2019 that shows all your retirement savings at one glance. What would you use a pensions dashboard for?
N/A- I would not use a pensions dashboard
Understanding whether I’ve got enough in my pension pots to hit my retirement income target
Understanding what a specific monthly contribution increase into my core pension from now until anticipated retirement date will do to increase my retirement income
To work out how much I can drawdown monthly from my pension without running out of funds too quickly
To run comparisons between different decumulation options – income drawdown, annuity, taking it all out and putting into a savings account etc.
Understanding how much I need to set aside for Long Term Care
None of the above
Mr Boulding said: "This understanding of what consumers will be using the pensions dashboard for is very valuable.
"It will help those planning to be dashboard providers to build the right interactive tools to help users to put this newly-available raw data to work to do some active planning."
A redesigned dashboard could also help alleviate some of the concerns around the lack of advice take-up among baby boomers.