Pension Dashboard  

ABI slams DWP over dashboard wobble

ABI slams DWP over dashboard wobble

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has urged the government to not halt the pensions dashboard project at the eleventh hour, saying there was "no credible reason" the project should not go ahead.

In an urgent letter to Frank Field MP, the chair of the cross-party Work and Pensions committee, Huw Edwards (pictured), director general of the ABI, set out why he and the association thought it vital the scheme continued.

Mr Edwards’ letter, made public yesterday (18 July), came in response to a report in The Times on Monday (July 16) that speculated Esther Louise McVey, the secretary of state for work and pensions, was to pull the plug on the long-awaited project.

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But the DWP has denied pulling the plug on the dashboard. It told FTAdviser the allegations made in the article were "pure speculation".

In a committee hearing, chaired by Mr Field yesterday (July 17), pensions minister Guy Opperman refused to confirm or deny the speculation, saying the Department for Work and Pensions’ feasibility study was still ongoing.

In the letter to Mr Field, Mr Edwards stated: "You will remember the ABI led a successful prototype project for HM Treasury and DWP that established a dashboard was technically viable and clearly in consumers’ interests.

"There is no credible reason why this project should not be proceeding at pace, given the work already done and high levels of support from the industry, from your committee and from consumer groups."

He outlined a significant range of other work the department, along with private sector partners, had done to establish what was necessary for the project to work.

Mr Edwards said the DWP was the largest department in Whitehall and was "funded by the taxpayer to more than one thing at time".

He signed off the letter by asking Mr Field for any support he could provide in "ensuring this key project is not halted in the 11 th hour".