The Pension Dashboard - latest update
On again, off again – that’s how we’ve described the government’s apparent commitment to the development of an online Pensions Dashboard for every individual in the UK.
Our last commentary on the subject appeared in November, and the positive news is that the government now seems to have reinvigorated its commitment to the project, through its latest press release dated the 3rd of December 2018.
What are pensions dashboards?
The latest press release from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) refers to “pioneering” proposals which will give everyone free, online access to their own personal pension dashboard, providing at a glance all the information from most of their pension schemes in one place.
Although the government has previously blown hot and cold in its commitment to the project, a launch date sometime this year is still envisaged.
Upon that launch, says the government, the new network of pensions dashboards will:
- let you search through millions of pension plans to identify all of yours;
- give you easy to understand, accurate and secure information about all your pensions;
- show how much there is any one or all of your pension pots – indicating how much you might expect to live on in your retirement;
- allow freedom of access 24/7 to a personal pension dashboard;
- let you grant permission for that information to be securely shared with appropriate sources; and
- provide help if you are searching for “lost” or forgotten pension pots.
The government says that it is currently working with both pension savers and the pension industry on the resolution of issues such as regulation, compulsion, governance, funding and the timetable for rolling out the proposed pension dashboards.
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics say that since the introduction of auto-enrolment, some 9.5 million individuals have started saving for their pension for the first time. It means that some 73% of all those in employment in the UK are now participating in workplace pension schemes – a significant increase on the proportion of just 47% in 2012.
Pensions dashboards will consolidate the progress made by auto-enrolment and give savers real-time access to user-friendly and accurate information on the current status of their pensions savings. They are designed to bring together – and present in a readily understandable and coherent form – information about all the pension schemes of which you are or have been a member, the respective balances, and eventually, the value of your State Pension.
Online access is designed to provide regularly updated information so that you can see immediately where you stand.
The proposed pensions dashboards are therefore poised to provide invaluable information to every member of the working population and members of private pension schemes.
The pensions industry will lead the development and design of the dashboards. The government will legislate where necessary (for example, to compel pension schemes to provide data to consumers via dashboards).
At Independent Pensions Specialists Ltd. we believe that accessible pensions dashboards will help people make informed choices and plan for their retirement more effectively. We look forward to its launch.
* The data used in this article is correct as at the time of writing.