Once it’s been launched, the new Pension Dashboard will make it easier for everyone to keep track of all of their pensions.
What is the PDP, and what will it do?
The idea for some sort of universal dashboard to collate information on all the pensions everyone has, is not new. Some countries have been operating pension dashboards for years.
In the UK, the PDP group was created to oversee the project, and in April 2017, a prototype dashboard was launched. Following that launch, in October 2017, a number of recommendations were formulated to deal with numerous legal and regulatory changes that were needed before the final product could be made available.
The goal of the Pension Dashboard Project
Once launched, the DPP will provide people with up-to-date information on every personal pension they have as well as their state pensions, at the touch of a button. It should help us all to be better informed and become more engaged with saving and planning more effectively for our retirements.
It should also lessen the number of lost pensions. According to Yvonne Braun, the director of policy, long-term savings, health and protection at the ABI (Association of British Insurers), there is £26 billion in unclaimed pension pots.
The challenges the Pension Dashboard Project must overcome
The biggest challenge the project faces is the completion of the digital architecture. It requires a complex infrastructure that will enable all pension providers to be connected to the system as per the connection deadlines laid out in the Pension Dashboards Regulations 2022.
Then there are the FCA’s matching pensions dashboard guidelines and rules for all pension providers.
Multiple parties and providers will have to work together in order to make the system work effectively. In a recent statement issued on UK parliament, Laura Trott, the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State Pensions, announced that the first connection deadline was now the 31st of August, 2023.
Realistically, more time will be needed to finalise what is a complex project before the Pension Dashboard will be available to the public. The DWP has been tasked with playing a full role in the ongoing development. It is essential that the pensions industry has sufficient time and all appropriate technical information necessary to be ready for any revised completion deadline.
Pensions Dashboard data security
Data security of the Pensions Dashboard is the prime concern. Pension scams are already a significant risk, and the launching of the Pensions Dashboard will only increase the opportunity for online crooks to access personal and financial data.
Jonathan Hawkins, the principal consultant and pensions specialist at Bravura, acknowledged the significance of the challenge that the retirement savings sector faces. It means that third party administrators and pension providers might not have the confidence to build and manage their own connections to the dashboard. Instead, many could be planning to buy in a trusted internet service provider.
As we head into the next stage of the development of the Pensions Dashboard Project, perhaps we can look at other countries that have implemented similar schemes to see if there is anything to be learnt. Countries with similar projects include:
The MOP scheme in the Netherlands
The MPO scheme in the Netherlands has been running since 2011. MPO stands for “Mijnpensioenoverzicht,” which translates as “my pension overview.” The dashboard is operated by the Pension Register Foundation SPR – Stichting Pensioenregister. They are a non-statutory body but one that has legal authority from the Dutch Government.
The Pensions Dashboard in Denmark
The Pension Dashboard program in Denmark was launched in 1999 and was the first of its kind. It is referred to as Pensionsinfo.dk. Run by F&P (Forsikring & Pension) – a Danish trade association for insurance companies and pension funds, they launched a public English language demonstration model in 2020.
The MinPension Dashboard in Sweden
The Swedish MinPension dashboard was launched in 2004. Initially, it only displayed defined pension entitlements; however, it has undergone continual development, adding more pension data. They are now designing a model that will help holders to plan withdrawals from their defined contribution pension pots.
You can read about other national pension dashboard projects around the work by clicking the “international” tab on the this link.
Lessons to be learnt
The overriding lesson to take on board is that these projects are complex and take time to develop. Sweden’s example is a good case in point. All countries have learned that once launched, the dashboards must continually evolve.
The other things we can learn from the various dashboards already up and running include:
- Data security is of utmost importance.
- Most people only want to know their simple total monthly income at retirement age, before tax.
- Pension projection bases are essential for dashboards in order to show a simple total future pension income.
- It is mostly older people, typically in their early 60s, who use the dashboards the most.
DPP delay a big let-down for consumers
There can be no doubt that news of the latest delays to the launching of the UK’s Pension Dashboard comes as a huge disappointment. Any continued delay only exacerbates the problems of people saving towards their retirements, due to the uncertainty of where they now stand and what they might need to do to attain financial security in retirement.
If you’d like to read more about the UK Pension Dashboard Project, visit abi.org.uk.