Pension dashboard to be phased-in

Pension dashboard to be phased-in

The pension dashboard should be phased-in and be accessible first-hand to people at retirement, the industry has told the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The government conducted three workshops yesterday with several members from the pension, investment and technology industry, in a wide group that also included public and private sector schemes and financial advisers.

Graham Peacock, managing director of Salvus Master Trust, was present at one of the sessions and told FTAdviser the DWP didn’t have any answers on how the project will be implemented.

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But it has suggested the dashboard should be first made available to people from 55 years old onwards, and the information should be included by pension type – the state pension first, defined contribution schemes second and defined benefit plans third.

The government is also planning on creating a steering group with members from pension industry, technology companies and user groups, Mr Peacock revealed.

He said: “No decisions have been made on who is going to deliver the pension dashboard and how, or even on who is going to pay for this.

“What we are likely to see is something emerging in March from DWP that gives the minimum requirement as to what the dashboard must deliver.”

Research from guidance body Pension Wise presented in these workshops suggested savers would like to see the dashboard being delivered by the government in a single database, or with a single point of entry, Mr Peacock said.

An overwhelming majority of attendees told the DWP that the government will need to legislate on the project, as making it compulsory for the industry is the only solution to make it work.

DWP has taken over the lead in this project from HM Treasury, and will present a feasibility study on the dashboard in the spring.

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.

Earlier in October a project group, managed by the ABI and including 16 industry providers and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), set out its recommendations for what should happen next with the pension dashboard, calling for legislation, a timetable and a non-commercial platform.

In this report, it was announced that financial advisers will not be able to access clients’ information by proxy in the initial version of the project.

Mr Peacock said: “The DWP was told that the adviser channel will significantly help member engagement.

“The success of the pension dashboard is going to depend on guidance/advice that members can get to make any practical decision using that information.”