Government unveil pensions dashboard proposals

George Hay Chartered Accountants

On 3 December, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) unveiled proposals that, if implemented effectively, would give millions of people improved access to their pension facts and figures.

Put simply, the proposal is to create free, user-friendly ‘pensions dashboards’ that would allow individuals to access information relating to their pension schemes in one place, online, for the first time.

Welcomed by consumer groups and pension providers, it is intended that the dashboards would:

  • give individuals accurate, easy to understand and secure information;
  • show individuals what they currently have accrued and give them an idea of what they can expect to live on during retirement;
  • give people control of who has access to their data as well as when and how they check it; and
  • help people to locate ‘lost’ pension pots.

The Government, who have pledged a £5m injection to fund the project, suggests that the first pension dashboard would be available in 2019, with others to be introduced in the years that follow.

It is hoped that, by offering several dashboards, individuals will benefit from the opportunity to select the one that works best for them.

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.”

The Government has made clear its intention to let industry lead and facilitate it in doing so.

There has been speculation that pressure is mounting for the Government to compel all pensions providers to feed client data into the dashboard project; however, the Government have not yet made any announcement to this effect and data submission will initially be voluntary.

The unveiling of the proposals marks the start of the consultation, which addresses a range of matters including delivery models, governance and safeguarding of sensitive information.

Samantha Bassett, Payroll Administrator at George Hay, said: “We are pleased to see that the pensions dashboard project is progressing, as improved access to their own pensions data will undoubtedly help people to better plan for retirement.”

The DWP’s consultation ended on 28th January and it is expected that the Government will respond within the next 12 weeks. The details of the consultation can be found here: Pensions dashboards: Working together for the consumer.

Here at George Hay we have a dedicated payroll bureau service, developed specifically to help businesses operate more efficiently and cost-effectively. We offer a comprehensive, confidential and competitively priced outsourced payroll solution for businesses of any size, operating in any industry sector, in any location.

To find out more about how we can help you, whether with payroll or pensions, contact one of the team today on 01767 315010 or by filling out one of our online enquiry forms.