Pension Dashboard  

Master trusts 'not dashboard ready'

Master trusts 'not dashboard ready'

The current authorisation process for master trusts means that these providers won’t be ready to supply data for pension dashboards this year, Aegon has claimed.

Kate Smith, head of pensions at the provider which runs its own master trust, told FTAdviser the 2019 timetable for the dashboard project was in doubt as master trusts won’t be able to focus on this topic until the end of the year.

She said: "The master trust market is currently undergoing rapid change as a direct result of the new regulations, which will lead to consolidation in the market."

Master trusts are multi-employer occupational schemes that have an estimated 10m members in total.

So far, only one master trust has been authorised by the regulator under the new regime, while some 38 master trusts are yet to submit their application. They have until the end of March to do so.

The Pensions Regulator then has up to six months to confirm whether a master trust is authorised or not.

This means that many master trusts are unlikely to be authorised until September, Ms Smith said.

She added: "Suppling data on a voluntary basis to the dashboards this year is unlikely to be a priority until authorisation is confirmed. This puts a 2019 implementation timetable in doubt.

"Master trusts, which are digitally enabled, are expected to be in a stronger position to supply next year."

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 Money and Pensions Service – the new name of the Single Financial Guidance Body - is expected to be launched this year.

Adrian Boulding, director of policy at Now: Pensions, said finding the resources to deliver to the dashboard was tricky this year.

He said: "Both the TPR executive and the TPR Determinations Panel look very carefully at the material and ask a lot of detailed and probing questions.

"That’s part of a thorough master trust authorisation process, which we fully support, but it does mean that the time we have available for other initiatives will be limited until the authorisation process is completed next Autumn.

"We were part of the Association of British Insurers' dashboard pilot in 2017 that proved the technology can work, but it won’t be easy for us to find that level of resource again in Summer 2019."

As an alternative Mr Boulding is suggesting that the best candidates to put up data first were the large single employer defined contribution occupational schemes.

But Gregg McClymont, director of policy at The People’s Pension, has a different view.

He said: "Our size and strength means we’re well-placed to meet any regulatory requirements which parliament lays out on the dashboard.