Nigel Peaple , Director Policy & Advocacy looks forward to a busy year.
After a long wait, the Pension Schemes Act officially entered into law on 11 February 2021.
As well as strengthening the powers of the Pensions Regulator, enabling a stronger funding regime for DB pension schemes and allowing the creation of collective defined contribution pensions, the Bill paves the way for Pensions Dashboards, which, once operational, will empower savers to access all their pensions information online, securely and in one place.
It is an important milestone in the development of Pensions Dashboards, which will enable all pension savers to understand their estimated retirement income more easily than ever before. Importantly, amendments to the Bill mean that consumers will be able to access a dashboard service that is publicly owned, provided by the Money and Pensions Service.
In my role on the Pensions Dashboards Programme Steering Group, the next steps are to help design appropriate protections to ensure that the data presented by Dashboards, and the functionality they offer, do not result in consumer detriment, mis-selling or pension scams. I will also be providing an industry perspective to ensure the data standards are fit for purpose and sufficient time is allowed for pension schemes to on-board.
Dashboards will launch with a simple find-and-view capability; and, later, after careful review and user testing, functionality will be increased to provide an innovative way of safely giving people more effective control of their pension savings.
As the most significant source of retirement income for many savers, it’s positive that the government agrees that the state pension should be included on Dashboards from the outset.
We are also advocating for the PLSA’s Retirement Living Standards, which help savers understand their saving objective, to feature on the Dashboard.
The passing of the Pension Schemes Act into law will be cause for celebration for everyone associated with the Dashboard initiative, but there is plenty more hard work to be done before savers finally get to enjoy the benefits of seeing all their pension savings in one place.
The Dashboard in 2021
This year will prove very busy for everyone involved with the Pensions Dashboard. Key highlights of the programme include:
- Start of the procurement for major features of the digital infrastructure, including a delivery partner to build the Dashboard ecosystem, as well as elements such as the consent and authorisation service
- Building the framework for digital identity verification, which will inform the approach used to verify Dashboard users are who they say they are
- Carrying out further research into users’ needs and expectation about the Dashboard
- Developing an onboarding strategy, with dates to be confirmed later in the year.