ABI moves Pensions Dashboard into ‘interim’ phase

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Tom Ellis writes

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is to establish an “interim phase” of the pensions dashboard after successfully developing a prototype.

The association said it would establish a cost benefit analysis for the wider industry and research what features the dashboard should have as part of this next phase.

It will also establish the requirements and costs to data providers and consumers and further develop technical data standards for firms.

The ABI has said firms would not have to contribute any more funding at this point. Contributors were charged £50,000 to take part in the development of the prototype.

On behalf of HM Treasury the ABI successfully managed the development of a prototype dashboard, which was unveiled in April.

The dashboard is set to be hosted on multiple websites, rather than by a single central service, after a working group recommended this would be best for consumers. It is due to be launched to the public before 2019 – a deadline set by ex-Chancellor George Osborne.

At the launch of the prototype economic secretary to the Treasury Simon Kirby warned he was exploring ways the government could force pension schemes to meet the pension dashboard data standards. However, the government’s activity with the dashboard has now paused in the run up to the snap General Election in June.

ABI director of long-term savings and protection policy Yvonne Braun (pictured) said: “The interim work being undertaken by the contributors and the ABI will allow the Pensions Dashboard to maintain momentum despite the pause in policy development as a result of the General Election.

“The work which will be done focuses on filling in crucial gaps which will ensure the project can proceed without delay once a new government is in place. We look forward to engaging with all the organisations which have an interest in this area.”

Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association deputy director for defined contribution Nigel Peaple said it made “good sense” for dashboard developers to maintain momentum throughout the election period.

He said: “It is important to identify the needs of savers and costs to the pension sector before taking the project further forward. If government, regulators, industry and consumer representatives work together in the right way, the dashboard should be an effective tool to promote member engagement and better retirement income planning.”