In 2016 the Government committed to launch a Pensions Dashboard by 2019. The dashboard was designed to be a one-stop-shop digital platform, where any individual could view their various pension pots and see how much they have saved for their retirement.
The Opposition has long supported the creation of a Pensions Dashboard, as it would make pensions guidance more effective and give people a better insight into their future income after they retire.
Many people across the country and in our area currently have very little idea of the value of their pension schemes – they may be in multiple schemes and as a result they may have no idea what their returns might be. In addition, I am aware that the Government has estimated that 50 million pension pots with £3 billion in savings would be lost without a dashboard. Indeed, one in five adults admit that they have already lost a pension pot.
Unfortunately, on 4 September 2018 the Government issued a statement outlining its decision to back the Pensions Dashboard, but only if it is run by the industry. I believe that this is a cop-out.
I firmly believe that the Pensions Dashboard should be publicly-run for the benefit of workers across the UK. Passing it on to the private sector means there is no guarantee of compliance from all pension providers. Furthermore, there has been no indication of whether the State Pension will be included in the dashboard.
In addition, I understand that the data of millions of people will be accessible through the dashboard, which is why I believe that it must be accompanied by high standards, tough regulations and sound governance. I am concerned that a privately-run dashboard could put savers’ data at risk.
I am committed to ensuring that older people have dignity and security in retirement and I will continue to press the Government on this issue at every opportunity.