Rudd offers us a people’s dashboard

Rudd Tisa.jpg

In a welcome break from tradition , yesterday gave us a Secretary of State for work and pensions , appearing in public to talk about pensions

Amber Rudd’s appearance at the TISA conference was well-received. For most of her unscripted talk she gave us her views on women’s participation in financial services and of her struggles to make a social impact in her previous jobs.

All this within a few hours of getting the job. Seldom can the contrast between a minister and her predecessors have been seen so clearly.

Then Amber Rudd turned to pensions

While this might not in itself have moved the debate on from Opperman’s position in the house (reported on this blog yesterday), what followed was encouraging.

Asked about the consultation in a question , Rudd was quite explicit. She said she wanted

“a consultation that allowed people to tell Government what they wanted – not the other way round”.

This may have shaken a few in the TISA conference, where the general view is that people should get what the pensions industry and the DWP give them.

Amber – had she made her way across the City could have heard an impassioned debate at the Pension Policy Institute which focussed on  what Ben Leonard called “True consumer-centric design in a digital age”. Which is Fintech-speak for giving people what they want and amounts to much the same as Rudd’s “People’s dashboard”.

What people do not want is the over-engineered “we’ll tell you how much more you need to save” stuff that appears to be the received idea. People do not want a dashboard that helps financial advisers to do their jobs, indeed as was repeated again and again at the PPI event, people aren’t keen on a dashboard so much as what a dashboard gives them

  1. The ability to find lost pensions
  2. A view of what they’ve got
  3. Instructions on how they can get their money back.

The third point is pretty well ignored by the financial services industry who appear to have forgotten that pensions – like dashboards – are for the people!

I’m not allowed to tell you which senior member of Age UK said it, but said it she did.

“We seem very good about educating people they need to save more, but not at all good at how to spend our money”

The curse of the Chatham House rule disables me from linking this to one of the most eloquent campaigners for those in older years – we have in this country.

The PPI’s latest paper on our facing the challenges of growing old was published yesterday and the PPI meeting, like the TISA meeting , was ably chaired by a young woman -in this case the ever more impressive Iona Bain.

If Amber had been there, I could have shared with her – one thought that should dominate the consultation on the dashboard.

But I think Rudd already gets that!


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in advice gap, Dashboard, pensions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Rudd offers us a people’s dashboard

  1. Adrian Boulding says:

    I distinctly heard the Secretary of State say “dashboards”, carefully using the plural.

    Read into that what you wish


  2. Bob Ward says:

    Sounds good news. Lets hope she is around long enough to complete the task!

  3. Denise says:

    What about putting stronger laws in place and actually jailing pension scammers who are robbing decent folk of their life savings and hence costing the government in the long term

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