Including DB on pension dashboard branded a challenge


Including data from defined benefit pension schemes on the pension dashboards will be a "real challenge" due to how the data will be presented, an expert has warned.

Tim Gosling, head of pensions policy at B&CE, provider of The People's Pension, said there was no easy way to present DB pension data because it's difficult to determine the value of an individual's pension in such a scheme.

Appearing on the FTAdviser Podcast to discuss the government's technology project he questioned whether the dashboard should only indicate the saver has a final salary pension, or if it should include a cash equivalent transfer value.

Appearing on the podcast with Mr Gosling was Darren Cooke, chartered financial planner at Red Circle Financial Planning.

He stated that "it will be next to impossible" for DB schemes to provide data, unless the government actually forces them to do it.

He said: "Most of them have really rubbish data [...], and what sort of format is it going to be? If it is a CETV, that could be really dangerous as we have already seen with the issues around pension transfers.

"And a CETV can change on a daily basis, when you calculate one it only lasts for three months, schemes will have to recalculate them, or automate processes for it."

Pension dashboards will ensure people throughout the UK have easy access to key information about what pensions they have, who manages them and what they are worth.

The government confirmed in December it will introduce multiple pension dashboards, with the first one, developed by the Money and Pensions Service, expected to launch in 2019.

An industry delivery group, brought together by the guidance body, will set out a timetable for other fully operational dashboards, as well as setting standards and ensuring security across the portals. 

Chris Curry, director of the Pensions Policy Institute, was appointed at the beginning of this month as principal of the group.

Mr Gosling noted that it would take three to four years to get the project up and running, which was "going to depend on how quickly the various parts of the governance project can get the job done and can give certainty to schemes".

He added: "There are things schemes can do to get their data in good order, they can look at the completeness of their data.

"But in terms of knowing what standard they're building it to, in order to push data to the dashboard, we need the governance project before we can begin work."

Mr Cooke doesn’t have a positive view on the project.

He said: "I honestly think that if you build it, it will be ignored.

"People don't even open their annual pension statements, I don't see why giving them an online access is going to make it any more likely that people will log on and have a look at their pensions.