Pensions dashboard legislation will be required – Aviva

Tom Ellis writes

Legislation will have to be brought in to force reluctant providers to contribute the necessary data to the forthcoming pensions dashboard, Aviva head of retirement policy John Lawson has argued.

It was announced this week that, despite the original deadline of 2019, a prototype pensions dashboard will be up and running by spring 2017 through the collaboration of 11 providers, including Aviva.

Lawson (pictured) said: “Legislation ultimately will be required because there will be some pension providers who won’t want to provide the data. There will be some schemes that are on paper and excel spreadsheets – that’s true of some schemes.

“They’re administered in a very rudimentary way. So those schemes may need to be, at a later date, pushed a bit in the right direction.”

He added: “We will do what we can initially, I think in the long term we might need legislation and you can see the economic secretary was saying they’re quite prepared to introduce legislation should that be required at a later date.”

Speaking at yesterday’s launch, which was hosted by Aviva, economic secretary to the Treasury Simon Kirby explained the Treasury would do what is necessary to get everyone involved in the project.

He said: “I’m keen to see the whole industry work together to set the minimum standards for how data is shared. We want that process to happen through the excellent voluntary collaboration we’ve seen to date.”

“But if there are difficulties getting everyone on board, then we’ll certainly look at legislation or regulation instead. So I would encourage everyone to start on this as soon as possible.”

In spite of his expectation legislation would be required to bring all of the industry together for a comprehensive dashboard, Lawson was swift to praise providers for undertaking the dashboard as a voluntary project.

He said: “Often in this industry you will find the government leads and we end up following, whether it’s pension freedoms or auto-enrolment. With the dashboard, the industry is actually leading itself – saying this is a good thing for the customer and we can develop that.

“Even providers who are not on the list at the moment are saying positive things about the dashboard, so I’m quite hopeful others will come on board.”