PLSA AC 18: Opperman tells industry to ‘get on with it’ over dashboard

The Pensions Minister has urged the industry to “get on with it” in relation to creating a pensions dashboard and has emphasised the role of technology going forward.

Speaking at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association today, 18 October, Guy Opperman challenged the industry to ask themselves what they are doing about the dashboard and told “those who are a laggard” to “get on with it”.

In a wide-ranging speech in which he could not offer an update on the long-standing project, Opperman said that providers should “know where the direction of travel is going” and that it could only happen on a collective basis.

He said: “The feasibility study is still on the way. It is genuinely true that the department is in daily contact with the industry. I am unable to make a significant announcement today but I promise you that the work that we have done in assessing the feasibility study for the dashboard has made it clear that we shouldn’t underestimate the size and complexity of the challenge.

“It is quite clear that the government has a role to play in the dashboard, a quite significant and clear role, but at the same stage so does industry. So, ask what you are doing to make this happen. It is something that can only happen on a collective basis.”

Last month, the government announced that it would be backing an industry-led pensions dashboard, however, since then, the industry has been calling on the government to outline exactly was this means.

Furthermore, it has been alleged that one of the key elements delaying the project is the government's lack of confidence in its ability to publish the state pension data required to establish the project.

However, in his speech, Opperman placed the onus on the industry to get the project going.

“My question to all the providers in the audience will be, if you know where the direction of travel is going, whether you are compelled to do it or asked to do it, whether you’re going to be asked to do it in one, two, three five or whatever years, then what are you doing now?

“I could get into a discussion saying, couldn’t you be doing this already, but I’m not going to drill down into the individual provider and say you haven’t done this, but there is a legitimate point that the government can turn to industry and say, this is so obvious, this is so much the future, whether you or compelled or asked, what are you doing now?

“For those who are a laggard who are not ready at the moment, I’d say get on with it. For those who are ready, I would say road test where you are and progress it as much as you can.”

He added that the dashboard is just “one of many things” going forward as part of an “open-banking’ environment in which savers will want to access all of their products through their mobile.

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