View more on these topics

Dashboard control in question as Govt discusses next steps

The dashboard prototype was delivered to Government in March

Responsibility for the pensions dashboard could soon pass from the Treasury to the Department for Work and Pensions, Money Marketing understands, in a move set to be welcomed by the industry.

While the DWP only says it is considering the next steps on the idea and would not confirm or deny any plans, parties close to the situation say such discussions are gathering pace.

As the dashboard moves from concept towards implementation, the DWP picking up the baton would make sense for many in the market.

Aberdeen Standard Investments head of retirement savings Gregg McClymont and Hargreaves Lansdown head of policy Tom McPhail both agree such a move would be beneficial.

McPhail says: “The Treasury has taken the lead on [the dashboard] to date, however the DWP is responsible for the Single Public Financial Guidance Body and taking the lead there. So anything to do with guidance seems to sit more naturally with the DWP.

“While the Treasury is primarily about the bigger picture activity and things happening at policy level, when you get down to the implementation and operational level, it would make sense for responsibility to pass to the DWP.”

Providers unveil pensions dashboard prototype

Cicero executive chairman Iain Anderson says the timing of any planned handover will be critical.

He says: “The Treasury is principally dealing with Brexit at the moment and that is creating bandwidth issues.

“But there has been long-running debate over bringing more of pensions policy into a single place, which I expect is why these conversations are picking up pace.”

McPhail adds: “There have been tensions about the delivery of the dashboard and while the industry is doing what it can, ultimately it will need the Government to legislate on it and publicly articulate that it is getting behind it and establish the direction of travel.

“As soon as the Government shows its strong support and that it will become compulsory, then I think things will be able to move forward with more clarity.”

As well as timing, accountability and ownership are major hurdles the Treasury must overcome.

Aviva head of financial research John Lawson says the project is likely to be on the back-burner until after the political party conference seasons concludes.

He adds that since former economic secretary Simon Kirby, widely acknowledged as a driving force behind the dashboard initiative, lost his seat following the June election, no one at the Treasury has “grabbed the nettle”.

The pensions dashboard will need work from both the DWP and Treasury, he says.

“I imagine it will become clearer post-party conference season once the political picture is less muddled. The Treasury is still very keen on the dashboard and won’t be totally out of the picture.

“The DWP always had to be involved with regard to state pension data sitting on the dashboard and also as the area of guidance falls to them, so it was always going to be a joint effort.

“We are hopeful that both sides will re-engage strongly once the political picture becomes clearer.”

A DWP spokesperson says: “The Government is considering the next steps with regard to this policy after delivering the prototype for the technology and we will keep the industry informed on how it progresses.”

Recommended

ABI announces interim pensions dashboard project

Interim project is hoped to stop any delays stemming from snap general election The Association of British Insurers is spearheading an interim project on the development of a pensions dashboard to prevent delays owing to the general election. The project to develop a prototype pensions dashboard system closed in May. The Government has paused its […]

8

SJP to compensate over pension withdrawal error

SJP call centre told client the withdrawal could be processed in five working days St James’s Place must compensate a client who complained the failure to process a withdrawal from his pension before the end of the tax year led to him paying too much income tax. Initially, the Financial Ombudsman Service adjudicator did not […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. They will not be good enough, to expensive and will be used in years to come like illustrations to hold the industry to account.
    By this I mean, what ever the industry does is never good enough, MP’s and regulators always find fault, they always state that what ever they review is to expensive and the system is not good enough. Illustrations mislead the consumer as they believe this is what they will get, when they don’t they complain.
    So, nothing will change, its been like this since regulation started.

Leave a comment