How do you solve a problem like the Pension Dashboards?

23 Mar 2022

2012 was a massive year for the Workplace Pension landscape as this was the year that Automatic Enrolment commenced meaning employers would not only have to establish a suitable pension for their workforce but also pay into it alongside their employees.

The employers with the biggest headcounts had to comply first and then over time, all employers in the UK followed suit. Most experts in the pension world would suggest that Automatic Enrolment has been a success and boosted pension saving for many people. This is backed up by the fact that in 2020 78% of UK employees had a workplace pension compared to only 50% in 2012. (*)

Soon after the launch of Automatic Enrolment, the concept of ‘The Pension Dashboard’ followed. HMRC claimed that the Pension Dashboard ‘will put individuals in control of planning for their retirement by bringing together their pensions information from multiple sources, including information on their State Pension, which can then be accessed at a time of their choosing’ (**). In summary, the proposed Pension Dashboard is an industry lead system that is designed to allow consumers to have visibility of their pension pots as a read only service. Not only will the dashboard allow visibility on Workplace pension, but it will also provide visibility on the state pensions too. The development of this system is a significant task for both government and the pension industry with many prototypes having been displayed.

Some may ask why it may be needed. The government estimates that on average, people may build up 11 different pension pots in their lifetime and that it can be difficult to keep track of everyone.

Like many joint initiatives, the concept is a particularly good one however it is taking the government and the industry years and years to come to a joint up decision as to how the dashboard will look. Consultations are ongoing with different industry experts confirming that the launch of any such dashboard is not likely to take place until 2023, 2024, 2025 or even 2026.

I do not think there are many people out there who think the idea of a pension dashboard is a bad one and this ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to help educate consumers on their pension and help with visibility and engagement should not be missed. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) research absolutely backs up the need for a dashboard as follows (***):

  • Over 60% of people said that dashboards will help them better understand their pension
  • 2 in 3 working aged adults are likely to use them
  • 7 in 10 working people would like dashboards to be interactive
  • 7 in 10 consumers feel that pension can be overly complex and complicated – and would not feel confident explaining them
  • 54% of working age adults find it challenging to find their pensions information

In summary, the consumer thinks it is a great idea, the government thinks it is a great idea, pension providers and trustees think it is a great idea, but it feels as though it is taking too long to come to market and therefore why does not someone just grasp the nettle and build something themselves.

Well, that is exactly what we have done at Wingate with the imminent launch of Wingate Engage. Wingate Engage provides employees with a platform to help them identify whether they are on track to achieve their retirement goals and encourages greater engagement with their workplace pension.  The system provides employees with a ‘pension score’ to encourage them to remain engaged with their pension, this score is influenced by employees completing of their personal profile and engagement with educational content, 121s and updating beneficiaries.

If you are keen to find out more about Wingate Engage and benefit from a demonstration of this exciting new system, please contact the Wingate team on 01883 332260 or at info@wingatebs.com

Source

* https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/workplacepensions

 **https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/pensions-dashboards-consultation-on-the-draft-pensions-dashboards-regulations-2022/pensions-dashboards-consultation-on-the-draft-pensions-dashboards-regulations-2022

 ***https://www.abi.org.uk/globalassets/files/publications/public/lts/2022/britain-things-pensions-dashboard-report-jan-2022.pdf

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