Pension dashboard held back by ‘political will’ not technology

Michael Klimes reports...

A Dutch pensions expert has weighed in on the pension dashboard debate saying lack of progress is down to ‘political will’ to push the project through.

Rik Douwes, managing director of Dutch pension provider InAdmin N.V, also questioned why it should take as long as three years to create a dashboard for UK consumers.

The proposed pension dashboard, which would give every pension saver access to their retirement saving information in one place, is set to be implemented by 2019.

The Chancellor used his Budget speech to set a 2019 deadline. City minister Harriet Baldwin has vowed to champion the project.

However, according to the Financial Advice Market Review, the project faces significant challenges including collating data from the government as well as providers.

However, Douwes (pictured) said the UK should just get on with the task as all projects need to start somewhere .

“You don’t need three years of programming time to upload information in a standard format. Why should it take so long?

“It is more the political will to do it and government drive to push it than it is a technical [issue],” he said.

Speaking at a briefing organised by Aviva, he added the UK could look to its neighbours for inspiration

“There are so many examples in Europe of operating dashboards and the technology is very simple.

“There is a database. It has pointers to third-party administrators and pension funds.

“The only thing [pension providers] they have to do is unlock their data and present it in a standardised format; you don’t need three years of programming time to upload information in a standard format.”

The national register in Holland started with the uploading of annual statements. If the UK did that, records would at least be all in one place, he continued.