Britain will get pension dashboards, whether from the Government or from the private sector – heads or tails the public will win.
I am in the minority and have been since the DWP took over the dashboard from the Treasury. The Government should not be providing one great big dashboard but should create the data standards and encouragement to allow private organisations to offer the information people need to make pension decisions online.
Whatever is being leaded by Esther McVey – seems like a retreat from the over-optimism displayed by the DWP in carious meetings this time last year. The DWP have bigger concerns than dashboards, they have the train crash called Universal Credit to sort out and it’s no surprise that having spent its budget (£1bn and rising) on NEST, it hasn’t got resources for this project.
The ongoing delays on the “feasibility report”, (due out in March) suggest that the conception of the dashboard as presented last year in unfeasible. I said this at a meeting of the DWP in the ABI’s office and was ignored, I’ll repeat – the private sector, for all their conflicts, deliver dashboards best!
What is needed is not just a place where you can see all your pension rights, but some kind of total income modeller which can help you sort out what the jumble of policies you’ve built up – will offer you as a lifetime income (pension). It might also show what this meant as one big cash sum and how you might be able to convert the capital into income.
What also would be helpful would be a means of establishing whether the various policies were worth keeping or whether they could and should be transferred into one big pot.
Since 94% of us , do not use financial advisers and since half a million of us each year get to the point when we can start spending our pension pot, the need for this kind of help is not just huge – but urgent.
So Government should stop fannying about and get on with telling us what we can expect and when. When we know that, people like us can step up to the mark and fill the gap or sit behind the dashboard and answer the next set of questions.
What’s going on at the moment is totally confusing and the sooner we have clarity the better. The good news is that when we get the clarity, we can deploy the technology and get going helping people.
Heads of Tails the public win, but we need that coin to be tossed within the next few days.