The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has committed to taking forward the next phase of a UK pensions dashboard, including potentially creating a prototype.

The announcement came at the launch of the Pension Finder White Paper, outlining how the dashboard could be created.

The White Paper was drawn up by the Pension Finder working group, a collaboration of 14 organisations led by the Money Advice Service and including the ABI, Aviva, NEST and Standard Life.

It included recommendations on a dashboard model, implementation and governance.

The ABI said the next phase of the pensions dashboard should include finalising the governance framework between industry, government and regulators; developing a prototype to test the technology and see how the dashboard could work for customers; and collaborating with the wider industry and interested FinTech start-ups.

Yvonne Braun, ABI director of policy, long-term savings and protection, said: “The Pensions Finder project has laid the foundation for delivering this crucial project, and its momentum must continue.

“As a project that is expected to be industry-led and funded, the ABI is best placed to take forward the next phase to deliver the pensions dashboard.

“We know we cannot do this alone. We want to work with government and the wider industry so the dashboard can help customers with public sector pensions and those in trust-based schemes.”

But pension professionals warned that the dashboard would require appropriate governance.

Graham Vidler, director of external affairs at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, said: “To make serious progress with a dashboard, we need clarity over its objectives, independence in its governance and realism in its development timetable. It should be governed independently with the involvement of government and regulators.”

He added: “Once objectives and governance are clear, it should seek to make progress in phases, starting where the majority of automatically enrolled savers are – a small number of master trusts and insurers. The governance framework set out in this report is a useful basis for moving forward.”

Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London and a former pensions minister, said the recent White Paper sees a single dashboard hosted by a public sector or not-for-profit body – the model preferred by consumers – as a transitional step to a ‘white-labelled’ approach, where dashboard data displayed is integrated with information from the user’s bank or pension provider. 

“The White Paper acknowledges that a ‘big bang’ approach, where all pension data can be seen on day one, is unrealistic,” he said.

“It suggests that the first data to be made available should include state pensions, new defined contribution pensions created under auto-enrolment and perhaps some public sector defined benefit rights.”

But he warned: “There would still be an awfully long distance to travel after this, including legacy rights, individual pensions such as self-invested personal pensions, and even other savings vehicles such as the new ‘lifetime’ individual savings account. 

“Without strong leadership, particularly from government, the dashboard initiative will continue to be little more than an aspiration.”

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