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UK minister confirms pensions dashboard project still live

Out-Law News | 26 Oct 2018 | 11:10 am | 1 min. read

The UK government remains committed to delivering a pensions dashboard and has not scrapped the project, the pensions minister has confirmed.

In a speech at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) conference 2018, Guy Opperman admitted that the project had "taken longer" than he "would have liked", but claimed the government is "making tremendous progress" towards its completion.

The government announced in 2016 that a new pensions dashboard would be created to allow savers to see their various retirement income streams in one place. The idea behind the initiative is to help people to make more informed decisions about their retirement savings.

Last year a prototype was developed. However, in the summer this year, the Times reported that the UK's pensions secretary Esther McVey was considering scrapping the project.

A petition was set up by campaign group 38 Degrees to call on McVey to stick with the plans to deliver the dashboard by the end of 2019. It said as many as 50 million pension pots could be lost by 2050 if there is no "official website to help workers to keep track of savings through their careers". Nearly 200,000 people have signed the petition.

Opperman said, though, that the government is "utterly committed to making the dashboard a reality".

He said: "Everybody agrees that a pensions dashboard, facilitated by government, led by industry, will be truly game-changing. I certainly believe that… The feasibility study, examining ways to facilitate an industry-led dashboard is still under way."

Opperman said that the Department for Work and Pensions is in "daily contact with the industry" over the plans. He said work already carried out on assessing the feasibility of the pensions dashboard has emphasised that "the size and complexity and difficulty of the challenge" should not be underestimated, though. He said, though, that setting up the dashboard is "something that we passionately want to do" and that there is a role for industry to play in delivering the project.

"It’s quite clear that the government has a role to play in the dashboard, a very significant and real role, and I don’t shirk from that in the slightest but at the same stage so does industry, so ask what you’re doing to make this happen," Opperman said. "This is something that can only happen on a collective basis."