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ABI warns on pensions ‘blind spot’ and need for Pensions Dashboards

1 March 2020

An Association of British Insurers survey has revealed that a fifth (19%) of consumers do not access information about their pensions, a so-called ‘blind spot’ which could lead to people “not getting the retirement they hope for.” 

The survey findings also showed that the ways in which people currently interact with their pensions varies across different generations. 

When asked about the three most convenient ways to access pensions in one place, going online came out on top. However, the platform preference varied among age groups, with those aged 18 to 34 preferring to opt for a mobile banking app (54%), while 35-54 year olds said they would prefer online banking (41%). The over-55s listed their pension providers website (54%) as their preferred method. 

Of those surveyed, 20% of people said they would be most comfortable accessing information about all of their pensions in one place through a government service, while 49% said they would prefer to do so through their pension provider. 

The ABI said multiple pension dashboards will help meet the demand for digital information, not only allowing consumers to see all their pensions in one place, but also helping to locate lost pensions. It is estimated that as many as one in five adults has lost a pension pot, with data from the Pensions Policy Institute suggesting these are worth as much as £19.4 billion. 

Rob Yuille, assistant director, head of long-term savings, the Association of British Insurers, said: “People need support to engage with their pensions to make sure their retirement lives up to their expectations. Pensions Dashboards will be critical to achieving this.

“To make it easier for people to engage, both government guidance services and private companies, like pension providers and banks, need to be able to offer Pension Dashboards. Employers, charities and trade unions could also provide these services, so that people can access the information wherever is comfortable and convenient for them.”

Anthony Rafferty, managing director, Origo, which prototyped a working dashboard in 2017 and has been working with data management, digital security and identity experts to help deliver the dashboard infrastructure, said: “As the ABI data shows, people want to be able to access their data in the way that suits their lifestyle – where they feel most confident and comfortable.

“There is no doubt we have a potential financial well-being problem for the country in the years ahead. The sooner the public have the ability to (1) locate their pensions and (2) quickly and easily see the information in front of them, the sooner they can start to make informed decisions about their retirement income provision.”

Andrew Tully, technical director, Canada Life, commented: “A lack of engagement in pensions and retirement planning more generally is a big challenge for all stakeholders to address. Creating far higher levels of engagement and a sense of personal ownership will be critical to the on-going success of auto enrolment and support better levels of saving more generally. 

“The launch of dashboards, producing better information and guidance should be seen as the first steps towards seeking proper regulated financial advice.”

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