The government’s confidence has been called into question over its ability to publish the state pension data required to establish the pensions dashboard, it has been suggested.
Speaking at the Society of Pension Professionals annual conference today, 21 September, The People’s Pension director of policy and external affairs, Gregg McClymont, said that the government “had issues over its confidence” in releasing “every single piece of pensions data in the UK”.
Earlier this month, the government announced that it wanted the pensions industry to take a leading role in the development of the dashboard, facilitated by the government, after concerns that the Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey, was seeking to “kill off” the project.
McClymont said: “If you are the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and it’s been passed from the Treasury to you, which is significant in itself, are you confident enough, if you are thinking about it from a risk reward point of view to sign off on releasing every single piece of pensions data that exists in the UK.”
He added that the task was “extraordinarily” different to countries such as Sweden and New Zealand due to the fragmented UK system.
“I don’t think the government was ever really willing to do the first thing [data warehouse], it’s not going to take control itself, highly unlikely, but the government issues around having the confidence, with public interest in mind, in handing it to the public sector, that’s why we have got to the stage where there is a lot of uncertainty because if you dig into it gets very
complicated and risky,” he concluded.
Earlier this week, over 20 major pension providers have called on the government to provide clear direction on key elements of the pensions dashboard, including compulsion and state pension data.
In July, while the government said that it was wary of implementing the “complex” and “challenging” pensions dashboard.
The government said they would be publishing the dashboard feasibility study the autumn.