New technology to reconnect people with their retirement savings

By on 04/04/2017
Economic secretary to the treasury, Simon Kirby, announced the project's March delivery last year. (Image courtesy at800)

The UK is one step closer to providing citizens with a comprehensive online picture of their state and private pension entitlements after the successful development of a pensions dashboard prototype.

The prototype system allows an individual to securely retrieve details of all their pension savings including the estimated value of those savings at a particular retirement age. The information can then be accessed via a single trusted source of their choice.

The prototype dashboard project was managed by the Association of British Insurers, (ABI) with the involvement of 17 pension providers and six technology companies. Unlike countries such as Sweden and the Netherlands, where they operate a single pensions dashboard, the UK government opted for a competitive model, where providers will build their own dashboards.

It is hoped that this model will encourage providers to develop innovative products that help consumers to understand their wider financial situation and act on it if necessary.

Speaking at the launch of the prototype project last September, Simon Kirby, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “No single dashboard can meet the needs of millions of people who all have very different individual circumstances. There is definitely no government website that could do that either. There is no monopoly of wisdom. The dashboard needs to be an infrastructure of open standards – like a common language and system for finding, collating, and sharing pension information.”

One of the critical elements of the project was to develop a pension finder that could communicate with more than 200 pension companies and trustees in order to ‘find’ and ‘value’ all the pension pots that match an individual’s details, including the state pension. Technology companies, Origo and Experian, developed two alternative solutions.

Technology specialists were also commissioned to work on four other elements of the prototype: user interaction with the dashboard (Runpath and Experian); verification of people’s identity and personal details (Safran and Experian); integration service providers to connect with pension providers (ITM and Aquila Heywood); matching data quality analysis to find all pensions in every system (ITM and Experian).

The government’s target is to have a fully working pensions dashboard service by 2019, which would help people to track down their pensions and encourage them to become more informed and engaged in saving and planning for retirement. The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that people have an average of 11 different jobs in their lifetimes, which could lead to 11 different pension pots.

Many questions remain about the governance, regulation, rules and final design of the pensions dashboards, which will have to be resolved between now and 2019.

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See also:

GDS rolls out messaging platform for UK government digital services

UK welfare and pension department trials new video technology for British Sign Language users

Russian pension ages to rise by 5-8 years

Civil servants’ pension payments pose challenge to Germany’s finances, report says

About Dawn Cowie

Dawn Cowie is a journalist and editor based in London specialising in financial services and financial management. She has worked on news and analysis aimed at senior managers across the UK financial services sector for the past nine years and also has experience covering public policy and investor relations. She has edited magazines for the ICAEW and the CBI, and contributed to Financial News, The Wall Street Journal and Euromoney.

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