An amendment to the pension schemes bill tabled by Lord Young of Cookham will force the Money and Pensions Service (Maps) to provide a complete pensions dashboard for savers.
Previous iterations of the bill had said only that Maps “may” provide information about individual state pension entitlements and additional pensions, drawing criticism.
A similarly soft commitment was made in the bill towards regulatory responsibilities, including the compulsion of employers and pension schemes to provide information.
Conservative peer Lord Young, who resigned the government whip in 2019, has now amended the bill to change “may” to “must”, in a move that one industry expert said should force the creation of a more robust public pensions dashboard.
Gregg McClymont, the director of policy at The People’s Pension, said: “There was much criticism of the dashboard clauses during the bill’s Lords second reading, and it is notable that a senior government peer has now tabled an amendment to try and ensure that the pensions bill contains a watertight commitment to a publicly run single dashboard.
“This is very welcome and suggests that cross-party support is building to ensure that a commitment on the government to deliver a single dashboard is written into law. The public – as the government’s own research confirmed – is more likely to trust a non-commercial dashboard model.”
As it stands, under pension dashboard rules savers will be able to see all their pension pots which are held in their name in one place.
But the pensions industry is still none the wiser as to when dashboards are expected to be available to the public as the Pensions Dashboard programme must still overcome data constraints, user testing and regulation delays.
According to the first progress report on dashboards from the Pensions Dashboard programme, established by Maps, there will need to be a staged approach when onboarding providers and schemes to the dashboard.
But if a relatively small number of large pension providers were to join first then the majority of people’s pension entitlements would be available via dashboards relatively quickly, according to the group.
It plans to set out a more detailed programme timeline before the end of the year.
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