Pension Dashboard 

Calls for pension dashboard to include other saving products

Calls for pension dashboard to include other saving products

Consumer group Which? is calling for the pension dashboard to include other saving products, such as Isas, savings accounts, investments, debt and insurance, once the project is up and running.

In a report published yesterday (20 February), Which? said the government and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) should develop a strategy and timetable expanding the data available on the dashboard.

The consumer group argued that even when the dashboard and the open banking reforms are implemented, "there will be big gaps in the availability of individuals' financial data".

Which stated: "Consumers use a wide variety of different savings and investment products to save for retirement.

"If people are to make effective financial decisions, enabling them to plan for retirement, then they will also need access to information about their Isas, including the new Lifetime Isa, investments, all savings accounts, mortgages, debt and insurance."

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.

Financial advisers agree with the need of taking the pension dashboard a step further.

An adviser anonymously quoted in the report said: "You have banking dashboards and pensions dashboards, so there needs to be some kinds of savings and investment dashboard.

"For many people in their 50s, their pensions and Isas have the same purpose.

"You would also need a debt dashboard – to help people identify things which they should pay off first with high rates of interest and which loans have early-repayment charges. Seeing debt reducing can be a powerful motivator.

"And finally, a protection dashboard – which could sit with the debt dashboard or separately."

However, not all advisers agree on this view.

Paul Gibson, managing director of Granite Financial Planning, said: "The concept of having an aggregated value of all investments is not new and some technology providers already offer this service.

"Whilst beneficial, I don't think there is a need for government or the FCA to get involved, as this is not their area of specialty. I think they have more important tasks in hand at the moment.

"Some IFAs already provide this type of service to clients. It’s probably a non starter in my view."

In its report, Which? makes a series of recommendations to meet the government's target, and urges immediate action from all parties involved.

The consumer group is calling for legislation to be introduced for providers to be obliged to share their data, that the FCA should regulate pension dashboard providers, and that the new Single Financial Guidance Body should develop and host a non-commercial dashboard.

The DWP said yesterday (20 February) that there is a "very strong case for legislation and compulsion" on the pension dashboard, but new rules might not come anytime soon due to Brexit.