UK Insurers Call for Pension Dashboard Legislation

Britons change jobs 11 times in a career, which can create pension confusion.

A group led by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is working on a  “roadmap” of what needs to be done to create a so-called pensions dashboard that will give UK citizens online access to all of their pension information.

The group said the key objective of its Pensions Dashboard Project is for consumers to have access to information about all of their pensions in one place, and in a standardized digital format through regulated services.

The move stems from the March 2016 budget, in which the UK government announced that it would launch a pensions dashboard by 2019 that will allow individuals to view their retirement savings in one place. According to the UK government, the average Briton will change employers 11 times during their career, which means they could wind up with 11 or more private pensions by the time they retire.

According to UK government research, more than one-third of people approaching retirement said they find it difficult to keep track of their pension plans. The ABI said that a prototype of the dashboard was successfully delivered in March, but work has continued to “research consumer needs, engage with the wider industry, refine technical standards, and look at how it could be appropriately regulated,” said the ABI in a statement. It said steps being outlined to reach this goal include:

  • Government legislation to ensure all pension providers and plans make their data available.
  • An implementation timetable, and an implementation and governance body to establish the necessary standards for all involved.
  • Establishing a non-commercial, government-backed platform that will operate alongside services from third parties.

The ABI said consumer research found that a government-backed, non-commercial option was considered important to gain trust in a new service. However, it said there was also strong demand for tools and services from third-party providers, such as financial advisors and pension companies.

“It’s time for the government to lay its cards on the table and be clear about what it is prepared to commit to this important project, and when,” said Yvonne Braun, ABI director of policy, long-term savings and protection, in a statement. “For such a service to succeed, it needs to be as comprehensive as possible, as soon as possible, and anything which involves people’s life savings must be effectively regulated.”

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