Here’s Guy Opperman on the Pensions Dashboard. He’s answering questions on behalf of this new boss – Amber Rudd.
Key message – “A feasibility study and a consultation are pending.”
My understanding of the Government’s position is this. It has made a Faustian Pact with the ABI to deliver the key element of the Pension Dashboard, the “find a pension” service into the hands of the consumer friendly ABI (cough).
I also understand that the Government has made a Faustian pact with the ABI to force everyone to sign up to this service through the ABI’s “not for profit” captive FinTech – Origo – by mandating participation.
If this happens, it will represent one of the finest pieces of sustained lobbying by the ABI and friends – ever seen in pensions. It will mean that Origo who currently charge around £5 each way for pension transfers – will clean up and will clean out many schemes who don’t do things Origo’s way.
This will consolidate much of the market to insurers who will pass on the costs of the monopoly to policyholders either in higher fees or through shelving the fee reduction plans that we could otherwise expect. Everything will of course be funded by an industry levy – as transparent as mud.
I know all this because sources close to the ABI have been crowing about this stitch-up to any journalist prepared to run the story; and most of the trade press has. For example.
I will fight any such proposals
The prospect of handing a small cartel a monopoly on the dashboard service is quite the opposite of “open pensions”.
Open banking has led to faster payments and faster information on our money, it has led to easy switching of accounts – it has benefited the consumer.
This has been achieved by the adoption of new protocols (known as CMA9) and has been achieved in the face of initial opposition from the established banks. Now those banks can’t get enough of open banking and are busy signing up with the likes of Starling and Revolut to deliver better faster.
I will fight for open pensions as an extension of open banking and will fight against the centralisation of service through an Origo led Cartel.
So we’re having a consultation after the big reveal!
Good – let battle commence!