Esther McVey allays dashboard fears and backs industry to deliver

Esther McVey has backed the pensions industry to deliver the pensions dashboard after months of uncertainty surrounding the project, writes Tom Ellis...

Photo: UK Parliament CC BY 3.0
Photo: UK Parliament CC BY 3.0

Work and pensions secretary Esther McVey has backed the pensions industry to deliver the pensions dashboard after months of uncertainty surrounding the project.

In July reports emerged that McVey was set to kill off government support for the project before, the next day, pensions minister Guy Opperman declined to deny the dashboard was being canned.

In response to the previously unaddressed rumours more than 125,000 signed a petition to save the dashboard project. The dashboard was first mooted in the 2016 Budget and the government has always envisaged the project completing in 2019.

McVey (pictured) said today: “The pensions landscape is transforming and the dashboard offers a great opportunity to give people straightforward access to their pension information in a clear and simple format, bringing together an individual’s savings in a single place online.”

She continued: “It is clear there is broad support for the concept of a dashboard and its potential to empower those putting money away for their futures. By taking a leading role, and harnessing their knowledge, industry can develop a dashboard that works for pensions holders – and government will help facilitate this.”

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 recently saying it would be published “fairly soon”.

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