Dashboard still has ways to go

Optimistic on dashboard

Some of the organisations driving the dashboard forward are bullish.

Yvonne Braun, director of policy, long-term savings and protection, at the Association of British Insurers, says: “The digital retirement revolution is here at last.

“Leading a cross-industry group of pension providers and schemes, the ABI has put years of work into making dashboards happen and we can’t wait to see these vital services in action.”

Nigel Peaple, director of policy and research at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, says: “We fully support the government’s recommendation that the initial phase should involve a non-commercial dashboard hosted by the [Money and Pensions Service] and that the state pension should be included as soon as possible.”

While the benefits for clients have never been in doubt, the point about state pension information has exercised many.

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said: “While it’s great to get confirmation that the state pension will be included, it’s concerning that there is no timescale or deadline being set for this being delivered.

“For many people the state pension forms the core of their retirement plans and is needed for the pensions dashboards to provide the fullest and most accurate account of someone’s pension savings.”

There is no clear date yet that the government has eyed up as a deadline to include state pension information.

When pushed for a timeline, the Money and Pensions Service, which is replacing the Money Advice Service, indicated that it is too early to say.

Right now, the government body is convening a delivery group to deliver the technical architecture for dashboards to work.

Once an industry steering group is formed, the rest of the industry and independent financial advisers will start to get timelines.

The Money and Pensions Service is now interviewing for the roles of principal and implementation director for the steering group and once they are appointed, a roadmap can be created.

Sticking to a plan with set dates is not exactly a government forte at the moment, but the pensions dashboard, it seems, has reached a point of no return. Any U-turn would be too damaging for the government now.

Provider challenges

While momentum is building after a couple of stalls, pension providers are enacting plans with several operational hurdles, not least data security.

Ms Smith notes: “There’s a lot of work that will be required to ensure scheme information is accurate, secure and available within the suggested three to four-year window.

“A phased approach for schemes releasing data to dashboards comes with its challenges, as it risks people being unable to find all their pensions from the start.