The Government’s 2019 deadline for the pensions industry to develop a dashboard will not be achieved unless closed-book providers are forced to comply, experts are warning.
In this week’s Budget the Treasury said it will “ensure the industry designs, funds and launches a pensions dashboard by 2019”.
However, there are fears that without intervention, closed-book firms and occupational schemes in particular will be in no rush to help build a system.
Pensions minister Ros Altmann previously told Money Marketing it would take at least a decade for all pension policies to be put online.
Dentons director of technical services Martin Tilley says: “This is an unattainable soundbite so the Government can say they told the industry it had three years to create a dashboard, but it isn’t going to happen. Every single provider is going to have to provide live links to a centralised dashboard, this is a mammoth project.”
He adds: “This is the wrong way to go about it. It needs to be consulted on and three years is far too short a timeline to implement it.”
Altus director Ben Cocks says: “The technology is straightforward, the problem is the people who are sitting around the table who want the dashboard have open books and want to win new business. But with the closed-book providers and probably large swathes of the occupational world, there is no reason to join in.
“Unless there is a regulatory stick I don’t see it happening. The whole point of this is to help people find lost pots and most of those will be in old products rather than shiny new platforms.
“100 years won’t be enough unless there’s some prompt for providers and schemes to do it.”
But Tisa, which is leading the industry’s work on the dashboards, says it can beat the 2019 deadline.
Policy director Adrian Boulding says: “I’m sure we can beat 2019 and have an up-and-running industry wide dashboard that will include most of your pension entitlements. Old, closed-book and maybe final salary schemes could take a bit longer.”