ABI: Do not limit pension dashboard to single government design

The government should allow the industry to develop multiple commercial pensions dashboards instead of a single platform designed by civil servants, the ABI says. Kim Kaveh finds out more...

The government should allow the industry to develop multiple commercial pensions dashboards instead of a single platform designed by civil servants, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

It comes amid concerns that the project is falling behind schedule to meet its 2019 deadline, while there is still no sign of the Department for Work and Pensions’ feasibility study which was due in spring.

Speaking at RP’s sister title Professional Pensions’ Pensions and Benefits UK conference on 27 June, the trade body’s head of retirement policy Rob Yuille said it does not make sense to limit the dashboard to a “single government-designed lens”.

“That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be a government-backed dashboard; there absolutely should be. But it doesn’t seem right to limit it just to that.”

He added that here on out, the government and industry must decide how to distribute the tasks between them to deliver the dashboard.

“Most of the work up until now has been done by the industry; the industry-funded it and put in the hours.”

Yuille said there were some aspects of the dashboard that only the government could decide, noting the case for compelling schemes to provide standardised data had become “stronger”.

There are concerns that without compelling providers to make the data readily available, users may not be able to see all of their pots when they log-in and this could damage the take-up and use of the product.

He added: “It would be a shame if, in the 2020s, we are still discussing how to get to 100% coverage.”

While the government has accepted there is a strong case for compulsion, there has been limited availability for parliament to discuss the project due to the domination of Brexit debates.

Yuille concluded: “Once the pensions dashboard is established, we’ll wonder why it never existed.”

About 15 million people are expected to want to access the dashboard last month, according to Origo, which has successfully tested its own prototype.