Pension dashboard to be unveiled next spring
The Treasury has secured agreement from 11 of the largest pension providers to launch a prototype of the pension dashboard by March 2017.
The 11 providers are Aviva, Aon, HSBC, LV=, NEST, Now: Pensions, People's Pension, Royal London, Standard Life, Zurich and Willis Towers Watson. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has also agreed to manage the pilot project.
People currently have 11 different jobs on average in their lifetime, which can make workplace pension pots hard to keep track of. If created, the pension dashboard would be an online platform where people can view all their various pensions in a single place.
Currently, £400 million is lost in unclaimed pension savings. The hope is that the dashboard could support the government's effort to trace those lost millions. It could also help consumers compare providers and seek advice as to whether their pension savings are invested in the best place.
Pension industry must catch up
Simon Kirby, the Treasury's economic secretary, says: "Technology, like mobile phone apps, has made day-to-day banking easier than it's ever been and it is time for pensions to catch up. Think of a future where you can compare your pension pots with the touch of a button."
Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands have pension dashboards, where savers can see all their pensions in one place.
The UK version, however, is unlikely to be comprehensive because many older pension schemes will never be online, as their records aren't electronic, according to former pension minister Ros Altmann.
Last month Altmann told our sister magazine, Money Observer: "It would be an enormous cost on providers who don't have electronic systems.
"The ones that want the government to push the dashboard through via legislation are the big providers who would get a competitive advantage from it because they are low cost."
Altmann adds the government should introduce standardised statements for all the legacy products, both defined benefit and defined contribution, so that people can see what they've got in a comparable way.
This article was originally written for our sister magazine, Money Observer.
Association of British Insurers
Established in 1985, the ABI is the trade body for UK insurance companies. It has more than 400 member companies that provide around 90% of domestic insurance services sold in the UK. The ABI speaks out on issues of common interest and acts as an advocate for high standards of customer service in the insurance industry. The ABI is funded by the subscriptions of member companies.