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Pension Dashboard given boost by Budget

29 October 2018

Government provided further backing for the Pensions Dashboard today in the Budget red book, following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s speech in Parliament.

The red book outlined further details on the Pensions Dashboard, saying: ‘The government is taking steps to support the launch of Pensions Dashboards, innovative tools that will for the first time allow an individual to see their pension pots, including their State Pension, in one place.

‘The Budget confirms that the DWP will consult later this year on the detailed design for Pensions Dashboards, and on how an industry-led approach could harness innovation while protecting consumers. DWP will work closely with the pensions industry and financial technology firms. The Budget provides extra funding in 2019-20 to help make this a reality.’

The announcement refers to Pensions Dashboards – indicating Government may be considering allowing more than one Dashboard, when previously it seemed intent on there being one central Dashboard. More than one Dashboard, made available via trusted entities, could help drive consumer engagement.

In addition, the paperwork shows that £5m has been earmarked to help drive the initiative forward.

Ex pension minister Steve Webb, now director of Policy, Royal London, said it was  “a real step forward” that the government has indicated State Pension data will be included.

“This greatly increases the prospect of dashboards which cover all the key pension information which consumers need to know.

He added: “The additional £5m a year for the DWP in 2019/20 is also a welcome symbol of the fact that the government is committed to taking this agenda forward, albeit more slowly than we would have wished.”

Anthony Rafferty, managing director Origo, the Fintech which has developed a pension finder service for the Dashboard, said Origo was “delighted” by the statement.

“Origo is deeply committed to making the Pensions Dashboard a reality for the UK consumer as a means to help people better engage with their financial information and plan for their retirement years. We have already built the technology to securely find and enable retrieval of individuals’ pensions data (once their identity is securely verified). We have always said that the Dashboard would be more effective for consumers if they could also see their State Pension on the same page and this now would appear to be the Government’s intention.”

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon agreed that the announcement was positive move in the right direction. She said: “It’s good to see some government money earmarked for the Pensions Dashboard in 2019-20, even though it will largely be financed by the pensions industry. With so many pension pots disappearing into the potholes of working life, we’re pinning our hopes on the Pensions Dashboard to solve the issue of lost pension pots.

“The pension dashboard is likely to lead to greater consolidation of small pension pots and we are waiting patiently for the government to publish its much delayed feasibility study which is key to the industry being able to move forward with developing the dashboard initiative.

“This funding indicates that things are moving in the right direction and the dashboard will become a reality soon.”

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