Dashboard-smashboard ; we’re done with you!

Vincent Franklin

The Pension Play Pen met this lunchtime and we’ve decided to ban the word dashboard from our lexicon of pension bull.

“Dashboard” is old hat lingo – implying a steering wheel and all kinds of stuff that people aren’t ready for.

People are not ready for more lectures on how they’re not saving enough into their pensions. They want to know where their pension money is, how’s it doing and when and how they can spend it. Money is for spending, not for fund managers.

Vincent Franklin, attending his first pension lunch put it rather well.

“If you work for the AA – you probably think the only thing cars do is break down”


If you work in pensions , all you see are the problems of broken pensions.

Our lunch group came to an astonishing conclusion. Rather than making people sad and broke (which is what the pension dashboard seems designed to do), a pension finder service could make people feel a lot less broke than when they started looking for their pension money.

You don’t need a dashboard to see a list of places where you’ve got money, you just need a pair of eyes and (hopefully) a set of fingers to press links to the websites, or emails or phone numbers of the people who may have your money.

If I could google my pensions and get a list of places where they might be, the prospect that there might be a few grand (or more) awaiting me – for following up the leads, would be incentive enough for me.

So dashboard smash board – we’ll be having no more of you!

I got quite carried away with the ideas being knocked around our lunch and promised I’d be writing to the Pensions Minister with the good news that the £5m he’s been generously given by Spread sheet Phil, might be enough!

I want Guy Opperman MP, to promise me and all the other people worried about where our pensions are, that there will be a mechanism to help us find all our pensions in place by at latest the end of the decade.

I will let him off all the tough stuff about disclosures and projections and defined this and defined that. I just want him to promise us that we’ll have the ability to find what we’ve got it, get some help and then spend it.

I know this is not what the ABI want but!

I know that the ABI and others see  pensions  a never-ending  “save-a-thon!” with us keeping our money in pensions till we did and then our kids doing the same- but that is not what people want.

People save to spend, not save to tell each other how wealthy they are. In the mad world of wealth management, the idea of spending wealth is heresy, but in my head, the idea of having a decent time in my reclining years is a good one.

I do not want to be told how much I haven’t got – I want to find out how much I have got.

This morning I spent another illuminating half an hour with Petrie Hoskin of BBC Radio London, hearing here moan that she is too late to start saving for retirement. I would have none of it. You can hear what a telling off I gave that woman here (start at 2hr 17mins).

A pound saved, plus the tax-relief + tax free interest makes saving in a pension a good plan. People like Petrie, who’ve ducked saving most of her life, are the people who are best placed to enjoy the pension freedoms and if Petrie only knew how easy it was to have her savings back, she’d be at pensions in a shot.

That’s what the pension finder service should be all about, making pensions clear, vivid and real enough for people. Real enough for us to realise that the money in pensions is money to be spent.

All we need is to know how to track that funny pension money down! We need a pension-finder service asap – “dashboard – smash-board!”


Looks like a smash board to me!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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3 Responses to Dashboard-smashboard ; we’re done with you!

  1. Peter Tompkins says:

    Well spoken there. You got some good messages across.

    There are clearly a few structural issues that need addressing – net pay and child benefit claim links to NI credits for instance. But I do think Ros’s 10 issues are too clouded by specious extras. We shouldn’t blame pensions for the impact of earning inequality where that may be the cause of gender disparity.

  2. Adrian Boulding says:

    Henry, you’re right – the Pension Dashboard is currently a project without a specification so all sorts of people are offering all sorts of high tech ides to solve the un-specified problem.

    Do we need a finder service or a high tech steering wheel?

    We’ve been so indicisive it will serve us right if we’re rewarded with another consultation!


  3. Bob ward says:

    Precisely what I have been saying – we need a ‘HUB’ – i.e. an agreed protocol & conduit for release of information all providers are sitting on with direction from Gov that they must share that information and not hide behind GDPR, DP, etc.

    Obviously that needs to be via an acceptable, secure joint initiative funded by all providers & schemes


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