ABI calls on govt to legislate for pensions dashboard

Written by Natalie Tuck

The Association of British Insurers has called on the government to legislate to make it compulsory for all pension schemes and providers to share data for the pensions dashboard.

The ABI has been responsible for the development of the dashboard, and launched a prototype in March this year, after being tasked by the government following the announcement of a dashboard in the 2016 March Budget.

Since the launch of the prototype, work has continued to research consumer needs, engage with the wider industry, refine technical standards and look at how it could be appropriately regulated. The project has brought together representatives from all parts of the pensions industry as well as tech firms, and has consulted with consumer groups. However, the industry is now calling for the government to step in to be able to roll-out the dashboard to the public.

The project group, managed by the ABI and including 16 contributors and the PLSA, is now setting out its recommendations for what should happen next. The industry says the key objective is that consumers should have a right to access information about all of their pensions in one place of their choice in a standardised digital format, through regulated services.

The ABI said consumers currently find it difficult to gather information about their various pensions. Consumer research found they were generally only interested in the idea of using a pensions dashboard style service if they could count on it to be near complete. Other countries with dashboard services cite compulsion as a key part of delivering a successful service.

Therefore, it believes an implementation timetable, and an implementation and governance body is needed to establish the necessary standards for all involved. Establishing such a service will require a lot of joint-working across many different parts of industry along with regulators and legislators. The ABI also believes a non-commercial government-backed platform should be established to operate alongside services from third parties.

Commenting, ABI director of policy, long-term savings and protection Yvonne Braun said: “The potential of a pensions dashboard style service is exciting. Our recent research has found the majority of consumers easily see the value of the concept, are genuinely excited by it, and imagine it would encourage them to save and plan more effectively for later life.

“We have the support of the public and we know the technology works. It’s time for the government to lay its cards on the table and be clear about what it is prepared to commit to this important project, and when. For such a service to succeed it needs to be as comprehensive as possible, as soon as possible, and anything which involves people’s life savings must be effectively regulated. We need a clear timetable for implementation and legislation so we can turn this great concept into a genuine public service.”

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