It won’t be long till 38 degrees’ campaign to save the pensions dashboard hits its target of 200,00. Today, the campaign was given a boost by publicity in the Financial Times by the ever-excellent Jo Cumbo.
The FT’s headline is that we stand to lose on average £15k in pension savings, if we can’t locate the 49.6m abandoned pots the DWP estimate will be sat with pension providers by 2050. The maths not hard, those pots add up to £757m, that’s £15,200 a pot. There are an estimated 10m people who could be affected.
Here’s how 38 degrees has done so far
The number’s growing every day and hopefully a few of you, reading this article will press the link and sign up yourselves. If you do, be sure to make a donation to 38 degrees (you don’t have to – but it helps)
200,000 is a lot of people, more than the people who work in the pension bubble. 38 degrees has reached out to hundreds of thousands of people who are concerned about their pensions and really don’t know what to do. Here are the voices of three of them
There are rumours that the DWP will be making a statement on the Pensions Dashboard next month (September). It will be half a year after it was promised.
Hearing from a few sources that the DWP will publish its feasibility report into the Pensions Dashboard in September.
The study was originally expected at the end of March.
— Josephine Cumbo (@JosephineCumbo) August 29, 2018
Well that would be good. I’ve spoken with senior civil servants at the DWP, clearly their intent is to help, we cannot blame them – this is politics at work and it’s working against the needs and wishes of ordinary people who want to get on with making the most of their lifetime savings.
My little bit of help to raise awareness has been in the Sun. I’ve been helping Mr Money to help Sun readers get to grips with the problem. We produced a DIY dashboard a couple of weeks ago and we’ve got some more fanciness planned!
That the Sun see this as an issue tells you what you need to know, the dashboard is about the people who don’t read the FT and don’t live in the pension bubble
Sadly it’s more than a “cut-out-and-keep” info graphic that’s needed. We really need the Government’s help so that people can see all their State and private benefits in one place.
The good news is that the pensions industry is primed and ready to go. Origo has already done a trial and has its “pension finder” service in place with further services due to be launched next year.
MoneyHub is keen to help people pay attention to their pension as are many other commercial organisations that see a gap in the market!
It’s a pretty wide gap!
£757bn is a lot of money (£757,000,000,000- to put it in round numbers!).
50m is a lot of abandoned pots (50,000,000)
10m people is a quarter of our adult population (10,000,000)
Only about 6% of us take financial advice and have someone to help us with our pension pots. Unsurprising most IFAs I speak to don’t see the dashboard as their priority and they are right. Dashboards are for the ordinary people who don’t see pensions as wealth, but as the means to keep solvent in retirement.
Ironically, Esther McVey is reported as calling the dashboard not a priority in the way getting universal credit is a priority. £757bn would go a long way to eliminating the need for universal credit!
Not a time for bickering
Personally, I’m of the view that the DWP should not take control of the dashboard. The delays they’ve already inflicted on the timetable for the project show that a whole cohort of savers could already miss out on a 2019 launch.
As Romi Savova and many others have said, what we need is for the Government to give those with the passion, energy and expertise “open pensions”, the pension equivalent of “open banking”. A mixture of impulsion – encouraging pension providers to play and agreed data standards that make participation easy – is all that the DWP needs to do!
I’m with Chris Sier in a view that providers that don’t play will be named- shamed -blacklisted and held in general opprobrium – my blog can help in that!
But we should not be thinking of failure – we should be encouraging success.
The conversations I have with insurers suggest that they are not just behind “open pensions” but that they are more than willing to kick them off! Origo is owned by the insurers – for heaven’s sake!
When I started this blog at 5.40 am, 172,895 people had signed the 38 degrees petition. Now – half an hour later, that number has increased by 12. Something to do with Jo Cumbo I expect!
I hope that this blog will nudge a few more of us towards delivering that magical target of 200,000. Thanks to Lorna Greenwood, the campaign manager, Esther McVey now knows the depth and breadth of feeling on this issue.