The news that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will take forward the Pensions Dashboard project has been supported by pension experts.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) which represents occupational pension funds, welcomed the news. PLSA director of external affairs, Graham Vidler, commented: “The DWP’s support of the Pensions Dashboard is great news for savers – who will be placed at the heart of the project. The dashboard could have a revolutionary effect on the way people engage with pensions, but it needs regulation and strong governance underpinning it. This is a job for government and we are pleased DWP has been tasked with leading the project.”
The Pensions Dashboard aims to bring together all of an individual’s pension balances on a single online statement, making it easier for people to plan for their retirement. The PLSA said that a national retirement income target will also help savers plan for their retirement. “We believe the combination of a nationally recognised target and digital infrastructure that allows consumers to compare their savings to that target would be a powerful tool for raising the level of retirement income.”
Royal London director of policy, Steve Webb, a former pensions minister, added: “This is a huge step forward. Those of us who want consumers to be able to see all of their pensions in one place had started to despair at the lack of momentum coming from government. Whilst government has been clear that it will not be delivering the dashboard or paying for it, government engagement is still vitally important.” Webb added that the government can legislate to require private pension schemes to supply data to the dashboard. “Other countries have had services of this sort for many years and it is time that the UK caught up, especially given the fragmented nature of much UK pension provision.”