DWP announces dashboard plans as long-awaited feasibility study is published

The government has released its dashboard consultation and feasibility study, which has revealed its plan to have multiple pensions dashboards.

However, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stated that state pension data will not be initially included in the dashboard, despite industry members believing it would be key to the success of the project.

Furthermore, the report, originally planned for release in March 2018, did not say that legislation would be drafted to force providers to reveal the size of pension pots.

Some industry members welcomed the announcement. Aegon pensions director, Steven Cameron commented: “Pensions dashboards has spent much of the year stuck in heavy traffic with very little movement. There’s been a great willingness from the pensions industry and others to make progress, but until now it’s been held up by one too many red lights.

“Today’s feasibility study is, however, offering hope.”

The DWP plans to begin with a non-commercial, single dashboard, facilitated by the new Single Financial Guidance Body, before moving to the planned multi-dashboard system.

It will be fully funded by the industry, as the DWP re-iterated its commitment to the industry taking a leading role on the project, although it will help to convene a delivery group to assist in implementing the technology required to operate the dashboard.

Despite the progress, Royal London director of policy, Steve Webb believed there were still obstacles to overcome: “This project is clearly suffering from ‘Brexit blight’ and the slow rollout is a real concern.

“This paper was itself eight months late and legislation is only promised ‘when parliamentary time becomes available’.

“Most worryingly, state pension data will not be on the dashboard from day one but will simply be included via a link to another website.”

The report argued that multiple dashboards will benefit consumers and they will work with the industry to include state pension information at some stage.

Additionally, the DWP’s feasibility study suggested that financial advisers will have third-party access to the dashboard in the future, stating that the DWP believed this would support the realisation of the project's key policy objectives.

It also hopes that schemes will provide data from 2019/20, and that most will be supplying data from 2023.

The consultation will look for advice from the industry as to how the dashboard will operate to try and ensure its success. The deadline for the consultation is 28 January 2019.

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