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20 Feb 2018

Government backs stronger rules for pensions dashboard

Department for Work and Pensions says law needed to make dashboard work

Government plans to allow people to track their pensions in one place online - called the pensions dashboard - need to be underpinned by robust legislation and co-operation from the industry for it to be a success, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Joining a panel of industry experts at the launch of the Which? Pensions Dashboard Report today, DWP director Julie Gillis said there is a 'very strong case for legislation and compulsion' to deliver the new pensions dashboard.

Which? explains the latest developments on the pensions dashboard, and how the tool could help you track your pension pot.

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What is the pensions dashboard?

The pensions dashboard will be an online tool to help you keep track of how much you have saved in private pensions andworkplace pensionsas well yourstate pension entitlement.

Plans to introduce the dashboard were announced in 2016 following a huge lobbying effort from Which? and other organisations. The first version will be available for consumers to use next year.

The DWP has taken over leading the pensions dashboard project from the Treasury and aims to present a 'feasibility study' - essentially an update on how well the project is progressing - on the delivery of the dashboard by the end of March.

A preview of the dashboard was unveiled to the public for the first time in April 2017.

Experts debate pensions dashboard

At a panel discussion today to mark the launch of the Which? Pensions Dashboard Report, Mrs Gillis emphasised the need for industry and government to co-operate to deliver the tool.

The report, authored by independent consultant Dominic Lindley, makes 12 recommendations to ensure that the pensions dashboard is made available to the public by the government's target date of 2019.

Recommendations include:

  • the government legislating to allow users to access all of their pensions data in one place online
  • establishing an independent body to govern the pensions dashboard
  • making information available on the pensions dashboard relevant and comprehensive.

Overall, panelists at the launch were unanimous in their support of the pensions industry working alongside the government to develop an intuitive tool that makes accessing information about pensions simple.

How to track your pensions?

Keeping track of your pensions can be tricky. The average person will have 11 employers in their life, which could mean 11 different pension pots to monitor.

In the UK alone, £5bn has been lost to unclaimed pensions. Tracking down your pension pots, however, may be simpler than you think.

The free government-backedPension Tracing Service can help you find pensions that you are entitled to claim.

A newonline toolrecently launched by the Pensions Advisory Service can also help you that can help you trace lost pensions.

You can get an idea of your workplace pension entitlement from your annual pension statement.

This should tell you how much you have saved and what you're likely to receive when you retire. If you can't find your pensions statement, your employer's pension department should be able to help.

You can also use our pensions calculatorto estimate how much of your pension fund could be at retirement and what age you might expect to to start taking an annuity or drawdown.

To monitor your state pension entitlementyou will need to get a state pension forecast fromgov.uk.

Which? calls for better pensions

Which? believes that pensions should work for both those saving for retirement and those making decisions at retirement.

Pensions schemes should work in your best interests and we believe that you should have more control over your financial future.

Which? is calling on:

  • the government to publish a plan for delivery of a fully functioning pensions dashboard
  • the Financial Conduct Authority to introduce better safeguards and protections for pension savers when they reach retirement.

Visit our campaigns page for more information and to sign the petition.

Check out our guide on planning your retirement at different agesfor useful tips on how to save and take control of your future income.