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Government breaks promise on pension dashboard

Business groups have criticised the Government’s change of plans on delivering a pension dashboard for UK savers.

The so-called “pension dashboard” was due to launch in April 2019. It was intended to collate information relating to private, state and workplace pensions schemes and allow savers to see their pension pot in one central online portal.

Now, however, the Government has announced that it has handed responsibility for developing a pensions dashboard to private firms. In addition, details of the state pension may no longer be included.

Freelancer body IPSE said it is “bitterly disappointed that the Government has now backed down on its earlier promise to deliver the crucial pensions dashboard”.

“IPSE sees the pensions dashboard as a crucial tool in tackling the self-employed pensions crisis,” said Jonathan Lima-Matthews, IPSE’s senior policy adviser.

“With just 31% of the self-employed saving into a pension, the Government must have a role in solving this crisis. On top of that, its reluctance to share information about the state pension - on which many people rely - will make it extremely difficult for the industry to produce a thorough product that will serve the needs of savers in the UK.”

Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “The UK’s 4.8 million-strong self-employed community will be feeling thoroughly let down by a Government that’s promised to deliver a pensions dashboard on multiple occasions. Ministers promised to get this sorted. They should have kept that promise.”

He added: “If we end up with an industry dashboard that doesn’t include information about the state pension then you’ll still have a proportion of the self-employed believing that their Government top-up will get them over the line. That’s a really dangerous place to be.

“The vast majority of self-employed entrepreneurs were employees once and can easily lose track of the pension pots they were saving into in the past,” said Cherry. “Not having a truly comprehensive dashboard makes it that much harder for employers to guide employee saving efforts.”

A pension dashboard that shows an individual’s retirement income is “the only sure-fire way to make everyone aware of the realities of not saving enough”, said Cherry. “Once we have that, many will be spurred into setting more aside for the future.”