‘What are Pensions Dashboards and when will I be able to use them?’
What are ‘Pensions Dashboards’ and when will I be able to use them?
Felicity from Gloucestershire
Tom Selby, AJ Bell Senior Analyst says:
You’ve probably read a bit about Pensions Dashboards in the past week or so after the Department for Work and Pensions gave the initiative the green light.
Pensions Dashboards have two central aims: to help savers locate lost pots and boost retirement engagement.
Around a quarter of adults have lost track of at least one retirement pot during their working life, according to Age UK, with the problem expected to get worse following the introduction of automatic enrolment into workplace pensions.
The average person will switch employer 11 times during their lives, potentially building up a new pension with a new provider each time. The Government estimates by 2050 there will be 50m dormant pots as a result.
Pensions Dashboards, once launched, are designed to help deal with this problem. The idea is that you will eventually be able to see all of your pensions securely in one place online. This should make it easier to locate any stray pensions from old jobs and mean you have a fuller picture of your retirement situation.
Eventually the dashboard concept could be expanded to include other financial products such as ISAs, but the initial phase will be extremely limited.
While the Government wants to compel all pension schemes to provide information to Dashboards, it will only be able to do this once there is time in Parliament. And the ongoing Brexit shenanigans mean that might not be until 2020 or beyond.
As a result, you won’t be able to see all your pension money in one place when Dashboards first become available – only those from schemes that have volunteered the data. In fact, the Government doesn’t expect Dashboards to show all your pension information – including the state pension – for three to four years.
So it’s probably better to think of Dashboards as a useful addition to your retirement planning toolkit rather than some sort of pension panacea. In time they might develop into something bigger, but initially the information available will be partial and basic in nature.
Unfortunately we don’t know exactly when Dashboards will be widely available, although testing is planned for this summer.
In the meantime it’s worth trying out AJ Bell Youinvest’s ‘MyWealth’ service, which allows you to input all your information to create your own personalised financial dashboard. In time through Pensions Dashboards and open banking the information available on services like these should become even more comprehensive.
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