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ABI: Pension dashboard challenges will not stop progress

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The Association of British Insurers says the obstacles identified so far in creating a pensions dashboard “cannot stop” the long-overdue tool being launched in the UK.

The ABI is managing the project on behalf of the Treasury, with a prototype due to be ready for testing in March.

Technology partners for the prototype have been announced today after more than 60 firms expressed an interest on taking part on a pro bono basis.

Speaking to Money Marketing, ABI policy, long-term savings and protection director Yvonne Braun confirmed the dashboard will include the state pension and considered the dashboard will also help financial advisers by reducing the amount of time spent of finding information about clients’ pensions.

She says the project has been going through a “discovery” phase where the 17 contributors have been working on what the data requirements are and what the architecture of the dashboard might look like.

Braun is part of the pensions dashboard steering group, which is chaired by Treasury financial services director Gwyneth Nurse and includes industry representatives and independent members.

The other members are: Aviva UK Life strategy and development director James Ward; B&CE chief executive Patrick Heath-Lay; Aon Hewitt HR Consulting and Benefits Administration global chief operating officer Derek Morgan; HSBC pension trust chief executive Elizabeth Renshaw-Ames; non-executive director Margaret Snowdon, Finance & Technology Research Centre Ian McKenna, and Alastair Horn, who is delivery director.

The dashboard’s technology partners have been assigned to five different areas of the project.

Runpath and Experian will work on how people interact with the dashboard.

Origo and Experian will work on how the system retrieves information on people’s different pension pots.

Safran and Experian will work on identity verification and personal details.

ITM and Aquila Heywood will work on the extra connections some firms will need to share data with the dashboard, and ITM and Experian will work on overcoming the challenges of finding people’s pension in every system.

Braun says: “The concept behind the pensions dashboard is brilliantly simple – savers should be able to see at a glance what money they are likely to have in their retirement, based on all the pensions they have gathered during their working lives.

“The practicalities of making this happen are, however, very complex and involve securely retrieving and presenting a large amount of personal and financial information for every person of working age in the country.”

Braun says a number of obstacles have been identified so far with the project, including the quality of data and around consumers having confidence in identity checks.

However, she is adamant the challenges will not get in the way of a dashboard being launched.

She says: “It is long overdue for the UK. It has the potential to radically reshape the pensions landscape and the way people interact with their savings.”

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