Pension Dashboard 

ABI wants advisers to pay for pension dashboard

ABI wants advisers to pay for pension dashboard

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has proposed that financial advisers, alongside occupational and contract-based pension schemes, should pay an industry levy to set up the pension dashboard project.

In its response to the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) dashboard feasibility study consultation, which closed on Monday (January 28), the ABI stated funds from the general levy and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) levies should be used to pay for the initiative.

It noted, however, that in the context of the long-term savings and advice sectors, the cost of creating and maintaining the dashboard infrastructure would be small.

The pension dashboard project will allow savers to see all of their retirement pots in one place at the same time, giving them greater awareness of their assets and how to plan for their retirement.

The first one, a non-commercial service hosted by the Single Financial Guidance Body (SGFB), is expected to be launched this year. It is this project, the ABI wants to see funded by the industry.

Commercial dashboards set up by companies should be funded by the companies themselves, it added.

The ABI noted that the levy calculations should be considered by the steering group being created to lead the project.

A formula based on a combination of assets under management and number of accounts held would be the most appropriate, it said.

The pensions industry has so far been divided on how to fund the pension dashboard project, with some calling for a new levy and others opposing it.

The ABI stressed it was "essential that DWP, the FCA and the SFGB set out a funding plan as soon as possible in order to provide clarity on how the levies will be split and an indication of the likely cost.

"This will allow all those who will contribute to the funding to plan for it appropriately," it added.

In its response, the body also highlighted the need for compulsion on all providers to deliver data to the project - something the government has neither confirmed nor ruled out at this stage.

Rob Yuille, ABI’s head of retirement policy, said: "The most vital piece of the jigsaw is to make it a legal requirement for all providers to share the necessary data to deliver the comprehensive service savers deserve, and we shouldn’t be letting any schemes off the hook. 

"This is something which should be addressed in the upcoming Pensions Bill. We know that some schemes will need longer than others, which is why it is important to ensure that all firms commit to a public timeline.

"We’re clear in our consultation response that giving savers easy access to their retirement data is part and parcel of doing business in an evolving digital world. We hope that pensions dashboards will empower consumers to make better decisions and have a more prosperous retirement."

Paul Gibson, managing director at Granite Financial Planning, said: "The ABI would say that financial advisers should pay. My personal view is that as a regulated firm we pay more than enough in regulatory costs already.