A parliamentary bill to end the long wait for digital pension dashboards – to help people keep track of their various pension pots – will finally be brought forward next year.
Last week’s Queen’s Speech promised a Pension Schemes Bill, to “allow people to access their information from most pensions schemes in one place online for the first time”.
Ministers promised they would provide “plain information” and that the legislation would include “new powers to compel pension schemes to provide accurate information to consumers”.
“This will include provisions for the regulators to ensure relevant schemes comply,” the Queen’s Speech documents stated.
The move comes eight months after Amber Rudd, the former work and pensions secretary, said the long promised idea was being given “the green light”. Originally the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had planned to launch the first dashboards during 2019, but the project was thrown into doubt because of protracted problems in the launch of the universal credit benefit.
The plan is to give people all the facts and figures about their pensions and potential retirement income at their fingertips in one place – on smartphones, tablets and computers. At present, when they build up savings with different employers for when they retire, they can only look at these pension pots separately.
With auto-enrolment nudging millions into pensions saving, the average person is expected to have 11 jobs – and, therefore, 11 different pension pots - over the course of their working life.
The pensions industry has been developing and testing models, but only legislation can compel all pension providers to construct a dashboard.
Earlier this year, experts suggested it will take three to four years for most pension providers to put together the information to launch their versions. And doubts remain about how quickly the value of people’s state pension payments – described as a “vital component” by the consumer group Which? – will be included in the dashboards.
The Queen’s Speech also confirmed plans to give tenants access to information on the database of rogue landlords and property agents and to consult “on widening the scope for entries on the database”, in a Renters' Reform Bill.