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Why the pensions dashboard is doomed to fail

The pensions dashboard proposals were unveiled by the government this week (December 3).

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The first pensions dashboard is estimated to be established in 2019
The first pensions dashboard is estimated to be established in 2019

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said the proposals will clearly show millions of people how much they have in their pension pots and what they can expect to have to live on in retirement.

 

It said this will put people in control of when and how they check their data and who has access to it and help people to find ‘lost’ pension pots.

 

However, former pensions minister Ros Altmann said: “The pensions dashboard must overcome many hurdles and the first requirement is to ensure accurate records.

 

“Regulators must ensure pension records are correct - recent auto-enrolment data is full of errors, but there are no official requirements to report on accuracy or error corrections.”

 

Altmann said that legacy schemes will take years, and cost huge sums, to convert to the electronic format - which has delayed dashboard project so far.

 

She added: “Trying to get all old pensions included on a pensions dashboard on day one is doomed to failure.”

 

Yet, Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion, said: “Pensions dashboards are another major milestone in our radical pension reforms, harnessing innovative technology to benefit savers.

 

“Bringing pensions information into the digital age has the potential to revolutionise the way we all think about and plan for later life. People, young and old, should have all the help they need to get ready for retirement and maximise their pension incomes and, working with industry, we will ensure they do.”

 

The government has said the first pensions dashboard is estimated to be established in 2019, with multiple dashboards to be introduced in the following years subject to the necessary consumer protection being in place.

 

Opperman said the government believes consumers will benefit from a range of dashboards to choose from and, at some point, will work with the pensions industry to include state pension information.

 

A feasibility report into the pensions dashboard, which forms the starting point for consultation on a range of matters including delivery models and governance, has been published by the DWP.

 

 

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