Harrington hails pension dashboard prototype

Government ministers have been presented with a working pension dashboard prototype that will be unveiled to the public on 12th April.

The Government says it wants the service to be available to consumers by 2019, offered by a range of different providers rather than by a single, central service. Some insiders within the dashboard project suggest a base level service, comprising data from willing providers, could be put in place more quickly than that if ministers backed the idea.

There have also been calls for the dashboard to be extended to other types of financial product such as Isas and general investment accounts, enabling individuals to have a holistic view of the entirety of their savings.

The pensions pashboard prototype project has involved 17 pension providers and six technology companies. with input from Government, regulators and independent industry experts.

ABI director of long-term savings and protection policy Yvonne Braun says: “It sounds obvious that in 2017 everyone should have easy online access to all their pension information in one single place of their choice – yet the practicalities of making that happen are very complex. The prototype demonstrates once and for all that the technological hurdles can be overcome.”

Economic secretary to the Treasury Simon Kirby says: “Pensions dashboards will allow consumers to more easily see all their pension information in one place for the first time and I’m delighted with the prototype system the industry has created.

“Harnessing the power of technology to give people easier access to their information will help them be more informed when planning their retirement – one of the most important financial decisions in a person’s life.

“I look forward to unveiling the prototype to the public for the first time at Britain’s FinTech week on 12th April.”‎

Minister for pensions Richard Harrington says: “This project has enormous potential to help people keep track of their pension and make the most of their hard earned savings, and I believe will be a transformational tool in providing the necessary information to people throughout their working lives to plan their retirement.”

F&TRC director Ian McKenna says: “This prototype demonstrates the potential for people to be able to access details about their pensions as readily as they can their bank details. The next challenge is engaging with the widest possible group of stakeholders to ensure as much data as possible is connected. The current project has done well with the coalition of the willing. The real test is yet to come.”

Aviva head of financial research John Lawson says: “Being able to demonstrate that the technology behind the dashboard can work is a real milestone in this project. It shows what can be done when we work together as an industry with the support of some of the best tech minds in the country.

“When the dashboard is ready it has the potential to open up a whole new level of consumer engagement with retirement savings. This is going to be vital if people are going to have an understanding of how much they need to save.”

AJ Bell senior analyist Tom Selby says: “The initial plans do not include ‘crystallised’ pensions where the individual has already started taking an income, for example through drawdown or buying an annuity. This feels like a mistake. A solution which excludes pensions in payment is completely inappropriate in a world where people have multiple pension pots and are increasingly likely to trigger pensions in only one of a number of schemes using the pension freedoms.

“The Government should also take a lead by including public sector pensions in the Dashboard and, over time, consider expand its scope to include other types of savings products such as Isas and particularly the new Lifetime Isa which has a specific retirement element to it.”

Pension Providers involved in the project

Abbey Life (now part of Phoenix)

Aon

Aviva

Fidelity International

HSBC

Legal & General

Lloyds Banking Group (Scottish Widows)

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Phoenix

Prudential

Royal London

Standard Life

The People’s Pension (B&CE)

Willis Towers Watson

Zurich

Technology providers involved in the project

Aquila Heywood

Experian

ITM

Origo

Runpath

Safran