OpinionMar 2 2023

'Dashboard delay no surprise to anyone'

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'Dashboard delay no surprise to anyone'
The pension dashboard was a great idea but the delays are just getting old now. (Craig Adderley/Pexels)

In a surprising twist that surprised nobody, the pension dashboard implementation date has been delayed. Again.

It can be no coincidence that just a month after the consultations from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Pensions Dashboards Programme, the pensions minister has said there's 'too much to do in such a short time'.

As reported previously by FTAdviser, the need for regulatory certainty is paramount when it comes to implementing the dashboard. 

Sadly this still appears to be lacking, according to Laura Trott, so there needs to be a "reset" of the plan. 

Imagine my complete and utter lack of surprise and astonishment when I read the statement from Trott. 

"Pensions dashboards will be a vital tool to help savers plan for their retirement and the government remains thoroughly committed to their delivery," she said.

And isn't this an interesting shift in the language? Did you notice the subtle change from 2022? 

The powers that be went from talking about 'the pension dashboard' – the all-powerful, all-inclusive, one-stop-shop dashboard – to 'pensions dashboards'. 

The adoption of this plural form indicates the government now recognises that there are already many pension dashboards in place.

These have all been created to plug the gap which the Department for Work and Pensions has failed to fill – and done in far less time with far less fuss than it has taken the DWP to say that its own one is going to be delayed (again).

In fact, it was only a month or so ago that MoneyHub said multiple dashboards were "already a reality".

Thankfully, I'm only a mere consumer, who has eagerly awaited the dashboard since its first mention in the March 2015 Budget statement. 

I might as well wait for the UK to rejoin the EU – it ain't going to happen.

Why do I say that?

Ever waited for a train or a flight that kept on getting delayed and further delayed? What happened in the end? Cancelled.

The DWP-led dashboard would have been the best thing since superannuated income; now it's just a nightmare.

Pension providers and tech specialists, who jumped right into this project in the early days have wasted weeks, if not months, of human and financial resources, in this continuous development stage.

First there were tech issues, then regulatory ones, then policy ones, and then all three of them at once, then regulatory ones. Just look at the timeline if you don't believe me. It's a rash of excuse after excuse.

It is costing companies and the taxpayer more and more every time this is delayed.

In the end, all that is left will be participants' willpower, or their sheer bloody mindedness.