Industry

Reconnecting people with their pensions – interim report and recommendations

Since the successful delivery of the Pensions Dashboard prototype in March 2017, firms which contributed to the project and a wide range of stakeholders have continued to work towards the delivery of a service which could be used by the public.

This interim project has consisted of four separate workstreams:

  • To research customer needs and establish what features people are likely to find most useful in a dashboard.
  • To establish a cost benefit analysis for the wider industry.
  • To establish the requirements and costs for a secure end-to-end service between data providers and data consumers.
  • To further develop the technical data standards for all firms and work with PASA (the Pensions Administration Standards Association) on agreeing a Code of Conduct in line with requirements from The Pensions Regulator.

These workstreams have now concluded.

The final report for this stage of the project, setting out a recommended way forward to making a service publicly available, is here.

Those involved in the latest part of the project have commented as follows:

Graham Vidler, Director of External Affairs at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, said:
“The Pensions Dashboard project is a ground breaking initiative that has the potential to benefit millions of savers in the UK. For the dashboard to be effective it must be comprehensive, effectively regulated and underpinned by strong independent governance to ensure savers are given consistent information wherever they look. More than three quarters of people (78%) admit they are not sure or do not know where to look to tell if they are on track with their retirement savings. The Pensions Dashboard will help to manage this very real problem and help savers to feel more in control and engaged with their pension savings.”

Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London said:
“The dashboard could be the key to engaging consumers, but it risks being like a jigsaw with missing pieces. If savers can only see some of their pensions, they will not get a complete picture and the value of the dashboard will be greatly reduced. Even if government were simply to announce an intention to legislate to require all schemes and providers to participate, this would give fresh momentum to the project. It will take years for some schemes to get their data in shape and the sooner they know it will be a regulatory requirement, the sooner they will start work. Other countries have had dashboards for years, and UK consumers should not be left in the slow lane”.

Jamie Jenkins, Head of Pensions Strategy at Standard Life, said:
“Today marks a huge milestone in the development of the Pensions Dashboard and it’s vital the pensions industry and government support these recommendations. From 2019, the Dashboard launch will provide people with a clearer view of all their pension savings, making it easier for everyone to make important decisions and manage their money. It will be a game-changer for those who want to take control of their pension savings, whether they’re being auto-enrolled on starting their first job, or nearing their retirement.”

Debbie Falvey, DC Proposition Leader at Aon Employee Benefits, said:
“Aon has always believed in helping people to look at the totality of their pensions and other savings. Only through having a comprehensive view of their savings can individuals understand how retirement might look like for them and take positive actions. The latest report from the Dashboard initiative clearly demonstrates that a comprehensive dashboard service is achievable and that savers would welcome the service and help. If done correctly and with consumer protections at the heart of the service, the dashboard can go a long way to helping savers feel more in control. We hope that Government and the pensions industry can now collaborate to turn the great work done so far into a live service.”

John Lawson, Head of Financial Research at Aviva, said:
“The Pensions Dashboard could revolutionise pension saving. Being able to find all your pensions and their value in one place will make a huge difference to savers. Currently to do this an individual has to know who all their pension providers are, contact them, wait for emails or letters through the post and then piece together what all the information means. The industry has to help people which is why so many pension providers, administrators and tech firms have committed to the dashboard project. Millions of people are working hard and saving hard. They deserve a clear and simple way to see if they are on track for the retirement they dream of.”

Martin Palmer, Head of Market Management for Corporate Savings at Zurich, said:
“The message from consumers is clear – they want to see all of their pensions savings in one place – and at Zurich we are right behind this key initiative to bring this to life.”

Emma Douglas, Head of DC, Legal & General Investment Management, said:
“The Pensions Dashboard is an important initiative with clear consumer benefits and we have shown that the industry can come together to deliver the technology required. The research and evidence presented in this report not only reinforces those benefits, but also presents a compelling case for compulsion which we see as the next natural step in its evolution in order to realise its full potential and we look forward to continuing our support.”

Elizabeth Renshaw-Ames, Trustee Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Bank Pension Trust, said:
“There’s been tremendous commitment from the pensions industry to continue to develop the UK Pensions Dashboard from concept, to prototype and towards implementation. I very much hope that Government will step up to support the project conclusions, in particular that compulsion through regulation is necessary to ensure an accurate and inclusive dashboard and also to back the formation of an implementation authority to ensure appropriate governance for the dashboard. Having access to trusted and accurate information will empower our pension scheme members to make more well informed decisions about their retirement savings. This will help demystify pensions and bring saving for retirement into the 21st century!”

David Macmillan, Managing Director, wealth solutions at Prudential UK, said:
“The ABI should be applauded for its role in helping to develop the blueprint for a Pensions Dashboard. Prudential is pleased to have been involved with this project. We believe the Dashboard has an important role to play in helping consumers plan for their retirement and we are committed to ensuring it becomes a reality. Enabling pensions savers to see all their retirement plans online would provide much needed clarity and should lead to better retirement planning and, in turn, better retirement outcomes for consumers.”

Peter Glancy, Head of Policy Development at Scottish Widows, said:
“The Pensions Dashboard makes it possible for customers to see all of the pension assets and entitlements which they have accumulated, in one place. This would facilitate an absolute breakthrough in engagement as people have a meaningful summary at their finger tips and making it much easier, quicker and cheaper for financial advisers to support customers in the run up to retirement.”

Susan McInnes, Customer Director at The Phoenix Group, said:
“At Phoenix, we are strong believers in the consumer benefits of the Pensions Dashboard service. There is absolute value for customers in terms of understanding and engaging with their historic and current pensions savings and preparing for their future.”