Speaking at an AgeWage/FDATA event last night, Romi Savova told a packed house that the MAPS dashboard could do little more than find people’s pensions with the detailed information we need to take decisions on our pots delivered off-dashboard via open pensions.
Savova, who sits on the MAPS dashboard implementation group, said she was not speaking for MAPS but stressed that the ongoing arguments about what should be included on the dashboard would slow down the delivery of what was absolutely necessary, public confidence that they could find their pensions.
She repeated recent PPI research that some £20bn was unclaimed in the pension system, with no owners coming forward to get their pensions paid. Savova argued that the various demands from people in the audience would not be met by a dashboard, this decade.
Marc Hommel, a former PWC pensions partner agreed
“I do continue to think that people in the pensions industry lack the wider perspective needed to truly resonate with the needs of ordinary people”.
The need for Open Pensions
Having explained the need for a simplified dashboard, Savova went on to explain that the dashboard could only work as a public utility in conjunction with open pensions and that the data standard needed to find pensions needed to be expanded to allow for the free flow of data when “ordinary people” requested information needed to make decisions.
The point was accidentally made by me, when I advertised A4 sheets of paper needing to be filled in by attendees if they were to allow me to get people AgeWage scores. (don’t worry folks – an app is on its way).
The reason we use paper is that it cuts down the time to receive information by avoiding arguments about wet signatures. While AgeWage is a fan of the Royal Mail, we would like to have a data standard for turning around AgeWage scores numbered in seconds rather than days.
People should be able to see how their pension has done against a benchmark through an easy to understand number without waiting a month.
Help is on its way
The meeting had been called to establish a pentech chapter of FDATA’s global fintech network.
AgeWage was the first of the new breed of pension technology firms to sign up to FDATA but, judging from last night’s turn-out (in the teeth of a storm and a Conavirus crisis) , it will be the first of many.
FDATA’s chair, Gavin Littlejohn followed Romi Savova to the stage with a message of hope. He likened the currently dire state of pension technology to the situation he found himself in – in the first decade of the Century. Gavin arguably started Britain’s first Fintech – Money Dashboard . It had the ambition in 2005 to show us all our financial data on a single screen. He recounted one morning when he opened a circular from HSBC , put through his letterbox that said “DON’T USE MONEY DASHBOARD”.
Gavin’s response was to engage with the OFT (now the CMA) and the result is the adoption of open banking standards under PDS2. Gavin explained how the transformation of banking into open banking could be mirrored in pensions.
He explained that without better use of technology , ordinary people aren’t going to get the support , let alone the advice they need – to make crucial life-changing decisions
Both Gavin and I had (separately been speaking at and with the FCA earlier in the day. We believe that open finance is the way to build out from the dashboard to deliver what ordinary people want – information to turn pension pots into retirement plans.
Ghela Boskovitch, Gavin’s #2 explained how FDATA’s influence could be brought to bear to clear up the current shambolic state of UK’s pension data
She pointed out it would take accurate collective lobbying for this to happen. Littlejohn saw the promotion of open pensions as being dependent on the people in the room joining with existing FDATA partners
If you’d like to learn more about FDATA and how you can join AgeWage and others in its pension chapter, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or the organisers at FDATA