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Queen’s Speech confirms pensions dashboard plans

Government makes pension savings a key agenda item

This morning’s Queen’s Speech, which set out the government’s forthcoming agenda, confirmed the pensions dashboard will go ahead as planned.

This will form part of a wider Pensions Bill, that aims to make pension transfers easier, and to give the Pensions Regulator (PR) more powers against employers that take unnecessary risks with pension benefits.

Here, we explain what the pensions dashboard is, and what other announcements in the Queen’s Speech could affect your cash.


What is the pensions dashboard?

During her speech to open Parliament, the Queen laid out the government’s agenda for the coming session, with pensions proving to be a key priority.

The Queen said: ‘Measures will be brought forward to provide simpler oversight of pensions savings’, a reference to the introduction of a pensions dashboard.

Plans to introduce the dashboard were first announced in 2016, following lobbying by Which? and other organisations.

The dashboard will be an online tool to track how much you have saved in all of your pension pots, including private pensions, workplace pensions and your state pension entitlement.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has previously estimated the average person could have 11 jobs throughout their working life, meaning their pensions are scattered among various pots and providers. As a result, many will have little idea how much money they have saved, and how close they are to funding their retirement.

The dashboard aims to make planning for retirement easier, and should help people keep track of their pension savings.

As part of the Pensions Bill, regulators will be given powers to make sure all relevant pension providers comply, and that accurate information is made available to all pension savers.

Which? calls for a comprehensive dashboard

The dashboard could be great news for pension savers, but Which? wants the government to ensure that it is truly fit for purpose.

Gareth Shaw, Head of Money at Which?, said: ‘Pensions dashboards have the potential to bring huge benefits for savers by bringing together all their pensions in one place, which should help millions of people to keep track of their savings and understand them better.

‘The government must ensure that dashboards enable savers to see relevant information about all their pension pots in one place – including the state pension – and outline key information such as charges and income projection figures, to ensure they are equipped with the information they need to plan for their future.’

Which? published a report on the pensions dashboard in February 2018 to address some of the key questions and concerns of how it will work for pension savers.

How else will the Queen’s Speech affect your cash?

Aside from the dashboard, the Queen’s Speech laid out a number of other government priorities that are likely to affect your finances:

Crackdown on ‘irresponsible’ private pension schemes

The Pensions Bill will give new powers to the Pensions Regulator, introducing new criminal offences that could carry prison terms of up to seven years, or penalties of up to £1m.

Pension schemes could also be under greater scrutiny, as the regulator will be able to request information  to be handed over in a ‘timely’ manner, and seek redress for savers if things go wrong.

Better broadband

The speech mentioned the introduction of new legislation to ‘help accelerate the delivery of fast, reliable and secure broadband networks to millions of homes’.

This aims to bring faster broadband to everyone, including people living in flats and those in areas that currently have a poor broadband connection.

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