As you know the dashboard is designed to give people the benefit of seeing their pensions savings together in a single place. This will help users get a sense of their overall readiness for retirement, stay in touch with their savings and feel empowered to make decisions about their finances. The Pensions Dashboard Prototype Project has three objectives:
- Agree and document the design of an initial infrastructure for data sharing
- Build and demonstrate a basic working prototype using anonymised data
- Learn lessons on challenges and potential solutions for future industry-wide dashboard infrastructure
During the 2016 budget, the then Chancellor, George Osbourne, announced that this project would go ahead after the government made a commitment that pensions dashboards would be created by the pensions industry.
I welcome the pensions dashboard as it should increase rates of saving, give users more control of their finances but also identify the needs for financial support.
I am aware that since 2016 there has been a lot of progress in the development of the dashboard. The government have explored many complex issues that are associated with developing a pensions dashboard. They have nearly completed the work around how practical the dashboard will be, and this will be reported back to Parliament in due course.
The Government are also committed in making sure that people are supported to plan for retirement. Some of the ways the government are looking at doing this are by:
- Automatic enrolment onto the dashboard.
- The use of existing digital services
- A new single financial guidance body which will be launched in January 2019.
The pensions dashboard is successful in Norway and Sweden and the government are looking at the experiences they, and other countries, have had in order to understand more about the dashboards. Decisions also have to be made about participation in the production of the dashboard. Before any final decisions are made all areas must be covered and any issues or questions answered these include the governance of the dashboard, funding, and what role the Government might have and whether any legislation is necessary.
I am aware that there were some rumours that the Secretary of State for the DWP could scrap the dashboard. On 4 September the Secretary of State for the DWP announced that she will not be scrapping the dashboard because “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” but the dashboard would be industry-led and facilitated by the government. The Prime Minister also said in Prime Minister’s Questions on 5 September that the dashboard will be going ahead and that she thinks there will be some piloting and consultations.
Please be assured that I will continue to push on its progress.