Labour calls on DWP to put state pension in dashboard

Angela RaynerLabour has joined industry calls for the Government to commit to ensuring that state pension is an integral part of the pensions dashboard targeted for delivery in 2019.

The Department for Work and Pensions has set the industry a target of three years for the delivery of a pensions dashboard that would enable savers to see all their pensions savings through a single portal. But the DWP has remained silent on whether it will commit to be part of the project, even though state pension will form a significant, and in many cases majority component of most people’s retirement income.

Financial services digital standards body Origo says it believes providers are on course to meet the 2019 deadline but warns the whole project risks losing momentum as well as industry and consumer confidence if doubts persist that state pension will be an integral part of the dashboard.

Labour pensions shadow Angela Rayner has added her voice to calls for the DWP to get behind the project, arguing that without it individuals will not have a clear picture of their likely retirement income, not least because not everyone will receive the new single-tier state pension in full.

Origo is also concerns that while progressive providers will get behind the dashboard, there some may use the Government’s lack of enthusiasm as an excuse not to get involved.

Speaking to Corporate Adviser, Rayner says: “Absolutely the Government should commit to being part of the pension dashboard by 2019? You can’t tell everybody else they have got to do something and then not practice what you preach. And the state pension is actually a massive chunk of most people’s retirement income, so understanding how much they are getting is a vitally important piece of the picture the pensions dashboard is supposed to be painting.”

Origo managing director Paul Pettitt says: “The technology to enable individual companies to gather the information to display on Pensions Dashboards is in development already in the market.

“Origo was tasked last summer to deliver the engine that will sit between the dashboard and the pension providers to enable the safe and secure transmission of data between the two and we are working collaboratively with the industry to develop the open messaging standards and the technology that will make that happen.

“Meanwhile, a number of companies are developing the front-end technology, which will enable them to offer a dashboard to consumers as part of their proposition.

“So we do not see the technology as an issue.”

“State Pension must be part of that participation because it forms a significant part of the UK population’s retirement income, making accessibility to State Pensions key to the delivery of a useable Pensions Dashboard.

“Unless the State Pension is part of the Pensions Dashboard, these companies could use it as a precedent for dragging their heels or not complying themselves.

“At the moment the Department of Work & Pensions is quiet on the subject. We would urge the Government to categorically confirm that State Pension data will be part of the project and sooner rather than later, in order that consumers can make fully informed decisions based on a picture of all of their retirement income. For many, the biggest portion of this will be State Pension.”

The DWP did not respond to a Corporate Adviser request for a comment.