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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

UK government rejects timetable for state pension dashboard data

The UK government has refused to commit to a timetable for making state pension data available through an online dashboard, a cross-party group of MPs has revealed.

Online dashboards to help pension saving ©iStock
Online dashboards to help pension saving ©iStock

The Work and Pensions select committee said ministers are “missing a trick” by refusing to publish a timetable this year, and that a dashboard should include all pension data.

Plans are underway to force pension providers to open up their data so savings can be viewed easily in one place, but there is no requirement for state pension information.

This is despite research finding that one in five pensioners could be heading into retirement with no personal savings or investments, leaving them to rely solely on the state.

“We clearly need a central, national, pension ‘account’ that every individual could access to monitor savings and genuinely compare vying offers,” said committee chair, Frank Field.

"This requires that the dashboard has details of the size of the state retirement pensions. Why does the government insist on missing a trick like this?"

The Work and Pensions committee published a report in August warning that the government is “complacent” about cost transparency failings in the pensions industry.

It also said it was “unconvinced” of the industry’s ability to self-regulate, and that pensions funds should be obliged to disclose costs to fund managers in a uniform template.

Moreover, the committee called on ministers to review the level and scope of the pension product charge cap, as well as permitted charging structures.

In response, the government said it “accepts the analysis of the effect of flat fee charging structures on small pots, especially dormant pots”.

In addition, it said it would review whether restrictions on the use of the charge structure are necessary to protect pension scheme members in some circumstances.

However, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) declined the recommendation to cap charges at 0.75% on its new default investment pathways, but left the option open.

“The FCA would send a simpler message to the industry if it just set a charge cap now for investment pathways, rather than issuing vague threats to the industry," the committee said.

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