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The Pensions Dashboard

20 October 2017

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The Pensions Dashboard is a government backed initiative which was first announced in the 2016 Budget.

The Pensions Dashboard is a government backed initiative which was first announced in the 2016 Budget. The aim is to provide all pension savers with the opportunity to access details of all their pension savings in one place, to aid decision making around retirement planning by improving their understanding of projected finances at retirement, the importance of financial advice and the benefits of actively managing retirement savings. An added bonus is that this should lead to improved efficiencies and lower costs for providers, fairer market competition and an improvement to the levels of consumer understanding in relation to long-term savings.

The journey from the 2016 announcement to the proposed delivery date in 2019 continues to take shape, with the prototype demonstrated to the Government and key stakeholders earlier in 2017 by the dashboard project group, managed by the Assurance of British Insurers ("ABI").

The General election in June 2017 has not surprisingly impacted on the government's engagement with the pension dashboard project, leading to recent calls from the ABI and other key stakeholders for "firm Government direction on its plans for pensions dashboard". The ABI has published a paper "Pensions Dashboard Project – Reconnecting People with their pensions" and within the paper has outlined the following key steps they feel will need to be addressed in order to achieve the target of providing consumers with all of their pensions in one place in a standardised digital format by 2019:

- Legislation to ensure all pension providers and schemes make data available
- An implementation plan/timetable and governance body which will lay the foundation for the required standards for all involved
- Produce a non-commercial platform, which government enables consumers to access their data via regulated third parties

It remains to be seen how the Government will react to the ABI's proposal but it is clear that in order to move forward with the project the Government will need to re-engage and decide whether delivering the ABI's recommendations is a priority and compelling schemes to make data available will become a legislative requirement. Without such commitment and support it remains to be seen if the pensions dashboard will be on target to be available by 2019. However, what is clear is that there has been an overwhelmingly positive support to ensure the pension dashboard is available, as this will improve the levels of engagement with consumers and hopefully result in improving retirement outcomes.

James Melsa, Pension Consultant at Quantum Advisory