Pensions dashboard petition attracts 125,000 signatures

A petition urging the government not to scrap its support for the pensions dashboard has attracted more than 125,000 signatures since its launch some three weeks ago. Hannah Godfrey reports...

A petition urging the government not to scrap its support for the pensions dashboard has attracted more than 125,000 signatures since its launch some three weeks ago.

The petition is addressed to secretary of state for work and pensions Esther McVey and has called on the government not to “scrap” the project.

Within a week of its creation, the petition gathered more than 82,000 signatures and has steadily continued to rise since, bringing the total to 126,143 at the time of writing.

As it has attracted more than 100,000 signatures, the topic can now be considered for debate in parliament.

The petition came after McVey was reported to be preparing to “kill off” the government’s involvement in the scheme during parliament’s summer recess.

Speaking in an evidence session in parliament with the Work and Pensions Committee last month, pensions and financial inclusion minister Guy Opperman did little to dismiss the rumours of a doomed dashboard.

Instead, he told the committee that “no decision has been made” on the future of the dashboard and “it’s probably not appropriate for me to comment any further than that”.

The Department for Work and Pensions is still set to publish a feasibility study on the project, which will assess whether compulsion is needed, if there should be multiple dashboards, and who should host the online tool.

The study had been due to be published in March but has been delayed, with Opperman now saying it would be published “fairly soon”.

‘Essential to help engaged retirement planning’

Anthony Rafferty, managing director of Origio, the tech firm that successfully ran a test to accommodate 15 million active users of the dashboard, said the benefits of the pensions dashboard are “easily seen and have clearly struck a chord with people”.

“We at Origo have been passionate supporters of the pensions dashboard since the initiative was launched,” he said, “believing it is essential to help individuals engage with their retirement planning, particularly in the new pensions environment which was ushered in with the pensions freedoms.

“The pension dashboard is a superb opportunity for government and the industry to provide a simple way for UK pension holders in the country to track their pensions, understand their value and what that means for their future and where appropriate, to act on their data in their best interests.”