Dashboard? – we’re dash-less and bored!

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What the public want


The title was my summation of a discussion of dashboard progress over the past four years.

We’d been talking about what the general public want and had landed on precisely the model illustrated at the top of the blog.

It came at the end of a workshop on how we will get people to manage their later finances last night.

If I had three topics I would not want to discuss at a workshop right now they would be (in no particular order)

  1. HS2
  3. Pension Dashboard

But as I can’t do anything about numbers 1 and 2, I’ll confine by comments to this dash-less,  dash-bored.


The chief achievement of the ever-listening MAPS this year, seems to have been semantic. We will not have a “non-commercial dashboard”, ladies and gentleman, we will have instead a “MAPS dashboard”.

Where this means that MAPS are thinking commercially I doubt. Right now they seem to be spending their time looking for a new CEO. Since inception, MAPS have been in listening mode which means they haven’t been doing much.

Angela Pober has been brought in  to head the Industry Delivery Group (IDG).

Cap Gemini has been brought in to produce the business plan


Chris Curry has been brought in (for two days a week) to be the IDB principal.

At each gently puff of wind, Anthony Rafferty and Origo have tried to excite us that we are seeing a change in the weather, but it is hard to see the Pensions Dashboard as anything but becalmed. 

There is no-one at MAPS who appears to be at the wheel – becalmed and moored.

Where is the impetus to come from?

Anthony Rafferty, Origo’s CEO has sent me the Q&A Origo produced this time last year , with the following conclusions.

1. The Pensions Dashboard Architecture IS Open Pensions; 
2. There is a significant opportunity to learn from the Open Banking approach to governance and some of the technology approach; 
3. A foundation of Open Banking would not work for the pensions industry due to the differing characteristics we have in terms of scale, complexity, cost-control and consumer experience; 
4. The UK Pensions Dashboard initiative is one of enormous ambition and has a real social purpose. We really do need to get the architecture right and make sure it is fit for purpose. With appropriate governance, we can then increment the data architecture to meet emerging requirements for Open Pensions as and when they occur; 
5. Open Banking will be interested in the Pensions Dashboard architecture as this evolves and is finalised. The use of a federated digital identity scheme and the techniques to enable secure attribute sharing to allow the consumer to control who has access to their data will be particularly relevant; 
6. Under an appropriate governance regime, the proposed Pensions Dashboard architecture will support an innovative Open Pensions landscape where the consumer is at the heart of the solution and their privacy and consent central to the design. This will eventually enable an Open Pensions architecture that is more sophisticated than currently exists for Open Banking;


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So where is the delivery?

What started simple ends complex

If you read Origo’s 6 statements you move from 1 Simple to 6 Complex – just look at the length of the text. It’s always like that with the Pensions Dashboard. If it could just focus on getting a quick start, we could get on with things, but oh no! We need a huge complex machine with enough governance to sink a battleship.

Those I know , who sit on the FCA’s Open Pensions Group agrees that the Origo is best placed to deliver a pension finder service (a simple first step) but that Origo’s Hub approach is no replacement for the point to point interactivity found in open banking (what follows).

So people like Romi Savova of Pension Bee do not confuse Open Pensions with Origo’s approach to the pensions dashboard.

What Origo is building is infrastructure for a Government led project. What Open Banking standards delivered released banks to build a web of connectivity that avoided the delays we are seeing happening at the Pension Dashboard. The Origo Hub demands an Industry Delivery Group, Open Banking was based on a simple set of rules or standards – agreed through the CMA- that has enabled FinTechs to get on with it.

So long as we keep building infrastructure and focussing on governance, we will see the Pensions Dashboard becalmed and moored in the same place it was three years ago


Screenshot 2019-08-30 at 06.14.25.png

The Proof of Concept moored and becalmed since September  14th 2016


It looks clunk and it is clunky. It arrived on 14th September 2016 and has sat there ever since, an unchallenged model – at least by those who control the dashboard’s delivery.

The #TellRick initiative – now three years old – did not catch on. Why should it – Sid’s well retired by now!

The Open Banking Implementation Entity

While the Data Feed Engine has been becalmed and moored for 3 years, open banking has happened.

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Look at the last item in the bottom right hand corner – Nesta’s Open Up challenge. My FinTech was asked to join that challenge, we couldn’t because though on every one of the challenge metrics we would have been approved, because we worked with pensions data rather than banking data – we had to exclude ourselves.

The OBIE has done for banking what the Treasury envisioned for pensions back in 2016.


What open banking’s given us

  1. It’s put consumers in control of their finances
  2. It has been secure
  3. Our banking transactions , costs and charges are now obvious to us
  4. We see things in real time
  5. At the heart of it all – we’ve come to trust our banks a little bit more,

Read again the 6 reasons why pensions refuse to adopt the simple principles of open banking.

The pensions industry said it couldn’t be done, the CMA and the banking industry did it.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in age wage, Bankers, customer service, Dashboard, dc pensions, pensions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Dashboard? – we’re dash-less and bored!

  1. Bob Ward says:

    Fully agree Henry. I’ve tried to get involved with the Dashboard but they didn’t want me! Seems they want ex-bureaucrats and those who fit in with the heavyweights already influencing the process, which as you point out is dragging the whole project down.

    Like the AE Gov led proposition resulting in throwing £450m at Nest when FinTech operations since have caught up using little more than £3m to get up and running.

    The future of Dashboards has to be based on Lean operations and cooperation of all Financial Services industry stakeholders, with the attitude of flexibility and dynamism driving forward now, not ‘fact finding’ for another n Years

  2. Jim Parsons says:

    All the talk about Pensions is really a misnomer. With a few minor exceptions, (CS, Armed Forces etc) people’s “Pension Contributions” are in reality nothing more than a Retirement Savings Plan. (RSP) This is what needs to be explained to the majority of workers. It is a Savings Scheme for Retirement. Just as you used to “Watch your Savings Grow” with regular saving, so you need to watch your “Retirement Savings Plan” grow. If the Custodians (Trustees and Plan Managers) are not doing as well as others then you should be able to move your RSP to different Custodians. In the same way that you can change Banks.

    • eneagu99 says:


      Are you recommending something along the line of ‘personal accounts’ for pensions where the member could choose his AE provider, instead of the employer?

      • Jim Parsons says:

        Yes. Employees should then have more engagement. Many employers seem to have abbrogated their responsibilities to employees by going for the cheapest option.

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