'Pensions Dashboards - Time for the Government to step up a gear' - Steve Webb
16 May 2016
British savers risk being left in the ‘slow lane’ unless the UK Government takes a more active role in ensuring the successful delivery of a Pensions Dashboard, according to a new Policy Paper from Royal London. The report, ‘Pensions Dashboards around the world’, coincides with a major conference being held on Monday 16 May, bringing together experts from Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands. Each country has provided a single place where citizens can see all or most of their pension rights in one place. By contrast, despite years of discussion, the UK is currently only planning to have a Pensions Dashboard in place by 2019, and even then it is not clear that the dashboard will cover all of the many different types of pensions which an individual might hold.
Most people build up multiple pension rights over their working life, from a combination of state pensions, workplace pensions and personal pensions. With the advent of automatic enrolment into workplace pensions, millions of new small pension pots will be created as individuals move from job to job and potentially build up a separate pension pot in each employment. A Pensions Dashboard would allow individuals to see their pensions in one place and could link consumers with lost pension pots from previous employments. It could also prompt people to seek advice as to whether their pension savings are in the best place.
Although the idea of a Pensions Dashboard was floated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2014, the recent Budget suggested a 2019 target date for a UK Dashboard to be in place. Different government departments and industry groups have been involved in pilot projects linked to the Dashboard idea, but so far there has been little co-ordination or clear governance of the project.
The new Royal London report calls on the Government to play its part by making sure that state pension information is shown on the Pensions Dashboard and also to be more proactive in pulling together the many interested parties whilst making sure that the needs of consumers are put first.
Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London, said:
“Citizens of countries such as Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands already have the benefit of access to Pensions Dashboards where they can see all their pensions in one place. It is unacceptable that the UK is in the ‘slow lane’ and our savers are being left behind. Getting the many different parties involved to work together in the interests of the consumer is a big job and may even require legislation. Government has been too ‘hands-off’ to date and needs to drive this project forward, otherwise savers will continue to have far too little information about their overall pension position”.
In addition to overseas experts, the launch event will also hear from Mark Boyle, chair of The Pensions Regulator, who will give an update on the thinking of the UK regulatory authorities.
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Notes to editors:
- Royal London Policy Paper 5: “Pensions Dashboards around the world” is available to download from www.royallondon.com/policy-papers
About Royal London:
Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with Group funds under management of £87.9 billion. Group businesses provide around 9.1 million policies and employ 3,051 people. (Figures quoted are as at 31 March 2016).