The government has announced plans for an online pensions dashboard which will allow users to monitor all their retirement saving in one place.
Due to launch in 2019, the ‘one-stop shop’ will include a record of savings from private, workplace, and state pensions, making it easier for users to track their finances and make better judgements about their retirement.
This will surely be welcome news to many in an era of auto-pension-enrolment in the workplace, and where research has indicated that more than a third of people close to the age of retirement are finding it increasingly hard to take stock of their pension pots.
“Pensions are too important not to engage with,” said Simon Kirby, the economic secretary to the treasury who unveiled the prototype last month.
“Through this project we’re putting more information directly in the hands of consumers and making it easier for people to plan for their retirement.”
The pensions dashboard will work by connecting data from the Department for Work and Pensions with records from employers and insurance companies, and will match over 60 million different pension pots with their users, highlighting all the pensions and their estimated values on a single page – over time it is envisaged that other information will be included on the dashboard.
The Association of British Insurers, on behalf of the treasury, is currently managing the prototype – although the exact workings of the final version will be decided by the government.
Access to the pensions dashboard will be made via a secure portal (“with a few clicks and some basic personal information” said Kirby), and may also come in the form of a free-information site or downloadable app for smartphone.
Pensions dashboard – expert views
Minister for pensions Richard Harrington called the project “a transformational tool [which will provide] the necessary information to people throughout their working lives to plan their retirement”.
Scottish Widows is one of the insurers leading development of the pensions dashboard prototype, Pete Glancy, head of industry development, explains:
“The absolute benefit to pension customers of having one easily-accessible place to obtain all of the information about past and present pension plans and schemes is irrefutable.
“It can be complicated and time consuming to track this information down – having it in one place would encourage more engagement in pensions saving.
“But this must apply to all pension schemes – including the State Pension and occupational schemes. People using the dashboard as the source of truth regarding all of their pensions are easily going to lose confidence in the system if some schemes or plans are missing.”