Call for co-operation on pension dashboard data-sharing

The industry must cooperate on data sharing standards if it is to meet the Government’s March 2017 deadline for a pensions dashboard prototype, one of the tech firms appointed to build it has said.

DashboardITM, which is one of six tech providers appointed by the ABI on behalf of the Treasury to build the prototype, says all parts of the industry will need to work together to agree processes and implement data sharing standards.

The call comes as research from Momentum UK shows an inability to review short-term finances together with longer-term finances, such as pension funds and savings accounts, is contributing to the uncertainty around retirement and affordability. The research found 60 per cent of over-55s said they were not satisfied that they could view all of their finances in one place, with this figure growing to 69 per cent for respondents of all ages. The study of 2,000 UK adults within 10 years of state pension found half of over-55s have no idea when they can afford to retire and just 41 per cent know how much they will need in their pension pot to afford comfortable retirement.

ITM director Guy Ridley says: “It’s a fantastic initiative that will, in time, deliver real consumer benefits. Allowing everyone to see all their pension pots in one place will help them better plan for retirement. To make this happen the pensions industry must work together to agree processes and implement data sharing standards.

“As an Integration Service Provider one of the challenges assigned to us is to provide the additional connections some pension firms will need to share data with the dashboards. The other stream of ITMs involvement is to help pension providers integrate their information with Pension Dashboard services.

“We believe, by assisting this phase of the work, ITM will add significant value when looking at designs and practical application of the prototype solutions and how this will influence the potential longer term solutions that will be implemented in the later phases of the project. ITM is also placed to help pension schemes of all shapes and sizes make their information available economically.”

Finance & Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna, an independent member of the Treasury’s steering group for the pension dashboards project, says: “Helping people easily understand the amount of savings they have for retirement will encourage them to plan better and appreciate the importance of further savings. For too long it has been difficult, if not impossible, for consumers to see all of their retirement saving information in one place. The pension dashboards project will transform consumer access to such information. Building the prototypes is a crucial stage to prove how this can be delivered.”

Momentum UK managing director Samantha Seaton says: “It’s extremely worrying that so many people aged 55 and over are living in such uncertainty, when they should be looking forward to a comfortable retirement. With most people now living longer and retirement becoming increasingly costly, this issue will only grow in severity.”