The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is asking providers to volunteer data to the pension dashboard, since there won’t be time to legislate on forcing them to provide the information anytime soon due to Brexit.
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.
Even though the government believes there is a "very strong case for legislation and compulsion" on the pension dashboard, there has been limited availability in parliament to discuss other legislative matters besides Brexit.
Julie Gillis, who is leading the pension dashboard feasibility study at the DWP, told FTAdviser the government is looking for volunteers who might want to help to develop the project early, and start to come on board as soon as possible.
The goal is to have a dashboard up and running even if the legislation for it only comes after 2019.
She said: “Everyone is very supportive of the dashboard, and I would like to see the industry stepping up and helping us to deliver this and do some early work.”
“We are having discussions at the moment [with the industry],” she added, without disclosing any more details.
The government can't force pension schemes and providers to supply data without legislation, but it can show the industry what the new rules will look like, and ask them to comply.
“All the big insurance companies will say yes, and some of defined benefit schemes will say yes, and therefore you will be able to have something of a dashboard before there's a legal requirement." Sir Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London and former pensions minister, said.
Royal London is ready to supply its data, Sir Steve revealed.
He said: “Old policies will take us longer than a drop of a hat to supply the data in a specified format. We will do our best endeavours to get everything we possibly can as soon as we can.”
James Ward, strategy projects director at Aviva, said it would be a shame if the dashboard was postponed until the legislation is in place.
He said: “We have real momentum now in the industry and in government for this to happen.
“What exactly that is, and how wider coverage will it have, is it a test or a pilot, we don't know the details of that yet, and that is what is being discussed at the moment.”
Mr Ward, however, didn’t make a firm commitment to supply Aviva’s customers data to the project, saying the life company will need to have "lots more" conversations with the government in the coming months.
He said: “There's a lot of questions and issues being discussed, and we would need to be satisfied that everything is being done in a secure way, and in the best interest of customers."