Industry welcomes dashboard; highlights need for successful launch

Industry members and experts have welcomed the release of the government’s pension dashboard consultation response, but warned that if the dashboard is not comprehensive and widely publicised it could falter.

Royal London pension specialist, Helen Morrissey, began: “After years of talk about the pension dashboard we need to ensure that what is delivered meets people’s expectations from the start.

“If done properly the dashboard will give people a full understanding of what they have saved. If it is rushed, or we don’t have all interested parties on board from the beginning, there is a risk that we will not be able to deliver something meaningful or credible and the opportunity to engage people will be lost.”

Sanlam UK head of commercial, Elliott Silk, echoed Morrissey’s sentiment, saying: “As an industry, and so as not to lose the faith of the British public, we need to ensure that the information displayed is complete and correct.

“This will be an almighty task and it’s important that all stakeholders pull together to ensure that this project is a success.”

Selectapension director, Peter Bradshaw highlighted the need for the government to extensively publicise the dashboard to help it achieve what the launch is aiming for.

He said: “A pension dashboard is a great way of engaging people with their pension planning. To make it work, the government would need a huge public awareness campaign.”

Despite the warnings, the general response was a positive one, with many expressing their excitement that this long-awaited project is becoming a reality.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) director of long-term savings and protection policy, Yvonne Braun, commented: “The digital retirement revolution is here at last. All the pieces are being put in place to deliver the easy access to retirement information everybody needs and that the pensions industry is so keen to deliver.

“We’re delighted to see the government committing to the necessary legislation and will continue to play our part in making dashboards a reality.”

The Single Financial Guidance Body chief executive, John Govett added: “Our vision is everyone making the most of their money and pensions. A big part of this is equipping and empowering people to engage with their pensions, often the biggest financial investment they will make.

“The new pensions dashboards will play a crucial role in this, helping people make decisions about their money and pensions with confidence, so they can enjoy greater financial wellbeing throughout their lifetimes.”

There was noticeable enthusiasm for the announcement that state pension data would be included in the dashboard, although some believed that not including it from day one was unacceptable.

Which? head of money, Gareth Shaw said that the company “welcomes the crucial commitment to including the state pension”.

However, Morrissey described the government’s plan to provide a link to state pension as “simply not good enough”.

She continued: “Pressure needs to be put on HMRC to get the state pension data integrated from day one if the dashboard is to work. The opportunity presented by the dashboard is too important to be lost - we must get it right first time.”

Many organisations within the industry indicated a willingness to work with the government to ensure that the dashboard is a success from the off.

Govett said: “We are delighted to be working with the Department for Work and Pensions and the whole pensions industry throughout 2019 to take forward the pensions dashboards.”

This enthusiasm was seconded by Braun: “The ABI has already put years of work into making dashboards happen and we can’t wait to see these vital services in action.

“We’re delighted to see the government committing to the necessary legislation and will continue to play our part in making dashboards a reality.”

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