The long-term savings industry has been arguably slow to embrace the digital revolution. As a long-term product with low levels of engagement, while progress has been made, the savings industry has not fully embraced the possibilities of digital technology.
The Pensions Dashboard, the widely discussed current technological development in pensions, is designed to enable people to see all their pension savings in one place online. Given that people are forecast to have 11 different jobs during their working life, the Pensions Dashboard is a critical piece of infrastructure to empower customers and help them save for retirement.
By giving customers a complete overview of their pension savings, a Pensions Dashboard can help tackle under-saving, help people locate lost pension pots, and inform their decisions on retirement planning. A range of organisations, including employee benefits firms, could use the data to help engage savers.
In September 2016, Simon Kirby MP, economic secretary to the Treasury, announced the next phase of the project to make the Pensions Dashboard a reality. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) will be managing a project to develop a prototype dashboard, to test how a saver could use a digital identity to access real but anonymised data about their defined contribution (DC), defined benefit (DB) and state pension entitlements. This is a significant step forward in opening pensions data to help savers see and understand their various pension pots.
The ABI-led cross-industry group will be reporting to HM Treasury who will oversee the project following their commitment to launch a Pensions Dashboard by 2019. A range of firms has agreed to join the project group, including insurers, master trusts, administrators and a large employer scheme.
Given the diversity of pension provision, we know we cannot do this alone. We are welcoming government and the support of the industry in its widest sense to deliver the dashboard for the benefit of savers facing an increasing retirement.
Rob Yuille is head of retirement policy at the Association of British Insurers