Pensions dashboard prototype demonstrated to UK gov ministers

A pensions dashboard prototype that should allow people to see all their pension savings and entitlements online has been delivered on time.

Pensions dashboard prototype demonstrated to UK gov ministers

The pensions dashboard prototype project, managed by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on behalf of HM Treasury, has co-ordinated the efforts of around 80 people from seventeen pension firms and six technology companies, with input from government, regulators and independent industry experts.

Together they have designed and developed the behind-the-scenes technology which could eventually allow people to find all of the pension savings belonging to them among over 60 million different pension pots, administered by thousands of different schemes and pension providers, along with the State Pension.

The government’s objective is for the service to be available to consumers by 2019, and for it to be offered by a range of different providers rather than by a single, central service.

Yvonne Braun, ABI director of long-term savings and protection policy, 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. The prototype demonstrates once and for all that the technological hurdles can be overcome.

The pensions dashboard prototype project, managed by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on behalf of HM Treasury, has co-ordinated the efforts of around 80 people from seventeen pension firms and six technology companies, with input from government, regulators and independent industry experts.

Together they have designed and developed the behind-the-scenes technology which could eventually allow people to find all of the pension savings belonging to them among over 60 million different pension pots, administered by thousands of different schemes and pension providers, along with the State Pension.

The government’s objective is for the service to be available to consumers by 2019, and for it to be offered by a range of different providers rather than by a single, central service.

Yvonne Braun, ABI director of long-term savings and protection policy, 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. The prototype demonstrates once and for all that the technological hurdles can be overcome.

She added: “Giving people access to clear information about all their pensions has the potential to revolutionise how they think about saving for their retirement. Now we must ensure industry, government and regulators continue this close collaboration so the excellent work done so far can be developed into a valuable service the public can use by the Government’s target of 2019.”

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Kirby, said: “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.”

FinTech week

As part of FinTech Week, HM Treasury is hosting a TechSprint event on April 12th and 13th in conjunction with the ABI and Aviva.

Developers and pension experts from over 20 leading technology firms will compete over 24 hours to develop and show-off examples of the potential applications the prototype dashboard system can unlock for consumers.

How will the pensions dashboards work? 

The technology has four basic steps:

1) You confirm your identity using a process like gov.uk/verify which is already offering secure online access to information such as details on your State Pension and tax returns.

2) You click a box to officially give the dashboard permission to share your information with multiple pension schemes and providers, or a third party connection they might be using.

3) Queries are sent to all the different pension schemes and providers to look for the pensions pots which match your details, including the State Pension.

4) The system reports back on all the pensions it has found to a single page, showing the names of the schemes and their estimated value at a particular retirement age. There will also be an estimated value at the top for your combined monthly or annual income in retirement. In most cases, this will only take a matter of seconds.

It’s expected the dashboards will also allow you to click on each pension pot to get more information about your savings and to view contact details for that scheme.

The pensions dashboard system does not involve creating a large store of pensions data. The technology fetches and delivers back the relevant information when an enquiry is made via the system.

Not all pension providers will have to connect directly to the dashboard system. They may also choose to connect via another service which will handle their data on their behalf.

The firms which have contributed to the prototype project and collaborated on its work include some not in ABI Membership. The full list is:

  • Abbey Life (now part of Phoenix)
  • Aon
  • Aviva
  • Fidelity International
  • HSBC
  • Legal & General
  • Lloyds Banking Group (Scottish Widows)
  • LV=
  • NEST
  • NOW: Pensions
  • Phoenix
  • Prudential
  • Royal London
  • Standard Life
  • The People’s Pension (B&CE)
  • Willis Towers Watson
  • Zurich

And providing the technological resources to develop the prototype:

  • Aquila Heywood
  • Experian
  • ITM
  • Origo
  • Runpath
  • Safran