The creation of a pensions dashboard is long overdue. Savers across the country need a simple and secure system with which to access their pension information which, in turn, will allow them to plan properly for their futures.
Many people across the country, including in Bolton, currently have very little idea of the value of their pension schemes. For example, they may be in multiple schemes and, as a result, they may have no idea what their returns might be.
The Government has estimated that 50 million pension pots with £3bn in savings would be lost without a dashboard. Indeed, one in five adults admit that they have already lost a pension pot. For this reason alone, the Pensions Dashboard would be invaluable in safeguarding the hard-earned pensions of savers across the country.
In the past, the Government has accepted the need for a pensions dashboard. However, it has now decided that the dashboard should be run by the pensions industry, rather than being publicly-run.
This has raised several concerns, including:
- There is no guarantee that all of the private pension providers will comply with a privately-run pensions dashboard.
- There is no indication that the state pension will be included in the dashboard; if the state pension is excluded from the dashboard, it will significantly reduce its effectiveness.
- The data of millions of people will be included in the Pensions Dashboard, so there needs to be high standards, tough regulations, and sound governance surrounding it. I am concerned that a privately-run pensions dashboard could put savers’ data at risk.
- A privately-run pensions dashboard will not be accountable to the public in the same way that a publicly-owned pensions dashboard would be.
I have written to Esther McVey, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and asked her to stick to the original plan of implementing a publicly-run pension dashboard.