Your pensions in one place: see all your retirement savings at a glance
A prototype of a pension dashboard which will enable savers to find out their future retirement income instantly was recently revealed, with the live version due in 2019.
As originally reported by thisismoney.co.uk, savers will be able to see their total annual and monthly income at the top, followed by a breakdown of what they will get in state pension and from individual work and personal schemes.
Such information can only be gathered from pension schemes individually at the moment, and by approaching the Government for an estimate of state pension separately – whilst the latter historically involved issuing paper forecasts the service is now available online.
Gathering information from a number of sources can be an arduous task, particularly when people typically hold 11 jobs and build up pension pots at each of them during the course of their careers.
Surveyed savers of all age groups tend to indicate a lack of awareness as to their predicted retirement income, and many don’t consider finding this information out until they are already approaching retirement age. The hope is that people will be more motivated to plan ahead to their retirement if they can easily view their predicted retirement income and understand whether it meets their anticipated future needs.
The pension dashboard project currently involves the Association of British Insurers, the Government, 17 pension firms, who have each invested £50,000 in building the prototype, six technology firms and financial regulators.
The aim is to drive as much participation as possible in the hope that all pension pots of every saver will be eventually tracked through the system.
Whilst public sector pensions aren’t currently included, the plan is to definitely get them involved. What is unclear though, is whether pension pots already paying out will be eventually included in the dashboard too.
How will the pension dashboard work?
According to current plans, in order to view their pension data savers will need to:
- Confirm their identity using a sign-up process like the Government’s gov.uk/verify, which is already offering online access to state pension forecasts and tax returns.
- Click a box to officially give the dashboard permission to share your information with multiple pension schemes and providers, or a third party they might be using. It likely there will be safeguards to ensure any shared pension data is kept secure, and to avoid people getting deluged with marketing bumf after signing up.
- Queries will sent out to all the participating pension schemes and providers to find the pensions pots matching your details, including your state pension forecast.
- All the pension pots this turns up will appear on a single dashboard page. This will show the names of the schemes and their estimated value at a particular retirement age. There will also be an estimate at the top of the page showing your total monthly and annual income in retirement.
- The plan is that the dashboard will also allow you to click on each pension pot to get more information about your savings and see contact details for each scheme.
Will your pension data be safe?
The gov.uk/verify system, was designed to be a secure Government portal for people accessing their personal information, such as state pension forecasts and tax returns, and the ABI say this will be used to confirm the identity of users.
‘The regulation of future pensions dashboards, whether by the Financial Conduct Authority or by a new independent body, would be able to insist on certain data and security standards for all firms interacting with pensions dashboards,’ says the ABI.
How can you find out your total pension now?
- Check with each of your work or private pension schemes individually, and get a separate state pension forecast from the Government, then tot it all up to find out what your retirement income is likely to be.
- Pension providers will send you annual statements that can help you keep track – remember to update your personal details with them whenever you move house.
- You can check your state pension here.
- If you can’t find an old scheme, the Government provides a free Pension Tracing Service here.
- The ABI offers an online register of which companies are responsible for pension schemes that have changed hands over the years here.
Take care if you do an online search for the official service as many companies using similar names will pop up in the results. These may offer to look for your pension, but try to charge or flog you other services, and could be fraudulent.
What happens between now and the 2019 launch?
Work on the technical details of the dashboard will continue and how it will be regulated, with the pensions industry and the Government leading the project.
Savers are likely to be given early adopter opportunities to test the new system ahead of the official launch in 2019, when it is scheduled to be rolled out to everyone.
The dashboard is expected to be made available to savers via a range of different providers, not just in one central place online.
Pensions dashboards will allow consumers to more easily see all their pension information in one place for the first time and I’m delighted with the prototype system the industry has created,’ said Simon Kirby, Economic Secretary to the Treasury. ‘Harnessing the power of technology to give people easier access to their information will help them be more informed when planning their retirement – one of the most important financial decisions in a person’s life.’
ABI director of long-term savings and protection policy, Yvonne Braun, said: ‘It sounds obvious that in 2017 everyone should have easy online access to all their pension information in one single place of their choice – yet the practicalities of making that happen are very complex.