Guest comment: Getting what you need from the pensions dashboard

“You can’t always get what you want”, as Mick Jagger sagely observed. “But if you try some time, you might just find, you get what you need.”

Obviously it wasn’t the pensions dashboard that Messrs Jagger and Richards had in mind when they penned the lyrics for one of the Rolling Stones’ best-known tracks, but the words seem strangely apposite anyway.

I say this because, after weeks of speculation that the government was adopting an increasingly ‘hands-off’ policy on the dashboard, the DWP’s feasibility study actually delivers most of what we wanted.

Granted, the PLSA remains cautious about what the government’s ‘industry-led, facilitated by government’ mantra might mean in practice. But the major dose of government involvement that we wanted – to give savers reassurance that the dashboard can be trusted – is right at the heart of the proposals, and that is a big tick for the PLSA.

We are particularly pleased that the first dashboard will be hosted by the new Single Financial Guidance Body and that the ‘SFGB’ will oversee dashboard governance arrangements. Launching that non-commercial dashboard first is essential. We also welcome the government’s goal of ensuring that state pension data is included.

We do need to be realistic about timescales, but perhaps we can start to hope it won’t be too long before the pensions dashboard reaches the “start me up” phase. Let’s make the dashboard one of the pensions industry’s greatest hits.

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