Govt backs industry for pensions dashboard

Work and pensions secretary Esther McVey has finally backed the industry to deliver the long-awaited pensions dashboard.

The dashboard should allow people to view all their pension pots in one place, from State Pension entitlements to company defined contribution and defined benefit schemes.

The Treasury initially led the project via an industry working group, but responsibility was later handed to McVey's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Earlier this year it was rumoured that she wanted to ditch the dashboard plan altogether.

Now the DWP has backed the plans, but handed responsibility for delivery of the project entirely over to pension providers.

McVey stated: “It is clear there is broad support for the concept of a dashboard and its potential to empower those putting money away for their futures. By taking a leading role, and harnessing their knowledge, the industry can develop a dashboard that works for pension holders – and government will help facilitate this.”

While the project has been passed on to the industry, the DWP is yet to publish its delayed feasibility study. This will establish whether compulsory provision of data should be set and whether there will be a central dashboard or various provider-led dashboards.

Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London and former pensions minister, said that there is much that the industry can do to deliver a dashboard, but only the government can supply vitally important state pension data and legislate to make sure that the dashboard’s coverage is comprehensive.

“Backed by this renewed commitment by the government, the whole pension industry now needs to work together to drive forward this much-needed initiative,” he added.

Separately, FinTech firm PensionBee announced that its existing clients are now able to see their live pension balance within Yolt, an app with more than 300,000 registered UK users.

It said this is the first personal finance app to show its customers their live pension balance alongside other financial accounts such as their bank account, credit cards and Isa accounts.

Clare Reilly, head of corporate development at PensionBee, stated: “Today’s announcement firmly establishes pensions as part of the open banking revolution; pension balances should be on smartphones – and not in a drawer.”

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