Dashboards on modern cars provide drivers with a host of information from how much fuel is left to the outside temperature. However, we’ve probably all had a mystery light turn on which looks important – but we’re not sure what it really means… It just proves that dashboards are useful but we still need experts to help us decipher the information.
According to the Department for Work and Pensions there is over £400 million sitting in lost pensions. In some ways, this isn’t surprising, as we now have an average of 11 jobs in a lifetime which could all, potentially, have given us a different pension. Add to this any private pensions and the State Pension and our retirement savings can look very complex.
Aware of this the Government, regulators and businesses in the pensions industry are trying to make a Pensions Dashboard available online from 2019 – although some people think this deadline is ambitious. It is an enormous job – as some pensions might only exist in paper format and in some cases, names and addresses will have changed. Also, just matching pensions to individuals isn’t always that simple.
The ideal for a Pensions Dashboard was first set out in the 2016 Budget, which stated: “The government will ensure the industry designs, funds and launches a pensions dashboard by 2019 where an individual can view all their retirement savings in one digital interface.”
Research by Opinium in June this year revealed that 77 per cent of pension savers say they are likely to use an online secure site to view pension pots. In theory, the Pensions Dashboard will make it easy for people to see exactly what they’ve saved so far and an estimate of what it might be worth in the future.
The Pension Dashboard will pull together all the pensions belonging to a person. To achieve this, they will collect a person’s details and check their identity. Then they will ask for approval to securely share that information, before looking at the 80 million plus plans out there to discover the ones tied to that person.
Doing this could take just a few seconds – or it could take some days, depending on how many pensions somebody has and how complex it is to identify them all. The Pension Dashboards will provide contact details of the provider for the different pensions. While the information might be correct, the stated valuations may have been done some time ago, so these may need to be updated.
Having all this information in one place is likely to result in two differing reactions from a consumer – either shock about just how much they’ve got saved up or shock about how little! According to the Opinium research, 51 per cent of people want to be able to pay more into their pension and update contact details via the dashboard.
While the notion of viewing all your pensions in one place seems sensible, this is not the whole story. Although the figures are there, it doesn’t tell somebody whether the amount they have saved is appropriate to see them through retirement and it doesn’t explain if the investments made are suitable for that person’s situation and whether there are death benefits attached etc.
At The Goodman Partnership, part of our service will include providing clients with an overview of their investments – a little like a dashboard - but we go further than that. We’ll use our experience and expertise to ascertain if the investments they have will work for them and we’ll help our clients make informed decisions about how they should draw income from their pension plans and other investments.
Give us a call on 01892 500600 or click here.