2019

19 December 2019 – New Pension Schemes Bill

Today’s Queen’s Speech sets out the government’s proposed legislative programme for the new parliamentary session.  The background briefing notes policy paper confirms (on page 57), that a new Pension Schemes Bill will be introduced which, amongst other things, will make provision for “a framework to support pensions dashboards, including new powers to compel pension schemes to provide accurate information to consumers”.  And on Twitter, Pensions Minister Guy Opperman’s video confirms this:

 

6 December 2019 – No State Pension?

At odds with the vast majority of the industry, Corporate Adviser editor John Greenwood argues an alternative view in an opinion piece: namely, that, because future state pensions aren’t guaranteed (because future Government policies could change them), it would be acceptable to launch pensions dashboards which don’t show state pension.

 

2 December 2019 – Inclusivity up, gibberish down

In a Professional Adviser article, Moneyhub Chief Executive Officer Samantha Seaton (now on the Pensions Dashboards IDG Steering Group), sets out how modern fintech tools such as pensions dashboards present opportunities to increase inclusivity and reduce gibberish when connecting consumers with their finances.

 

13 November 2019 – Proposition Lead

Today I’m very lucky to be given the opportunity to join the Industry Delivery Group (IDG) run by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS).  I am going to be the Proposition Lead for the Pensions Dashboards Ecosystem, co-ordinating the work of all the different Working Groups defining and delivering the end-to-end solution.  After almost five years, I will consider whether to maintain this independent blog.

 

6 November 2019 – Bill falls on dissolution of Parliament

With the dissolution of Parliament ahead of the General Election on 12 December 2019, the Pension Schemes Bill falls, and will therefore need to be reintroduced (either in its current or an alternative form), by the next Government.

 

1 November 2019 – Simpler Annual Statement Consultation

The Government launches a seven-week consultation on simpler annual benefit statements for defined contribution (DC) pension schemes, including whether to require these schemes to adopt the simpler statement format.  The Government also seeks views on how these statement proposals could / should relate to the development of dashboards.

 

30 October 2019 – Response to W&P Committee

In its response to the Work and Pensions Committee report on pension costs and transparency, the Government confirms that DWP is working with HMRC to develop the necessary digital architecture to enable State Pension to be shown on dashboards.  However, they don’t commit to the inclusion of State Pension from the initial dashboard launch (as was recommended by the Committee).

 

28 October 2019 – MaPS Quarterly Update

MaPS Dashboards Principal Chris Curry publishes his second quarterly blog update.  Amongst other things, Chris talks about helping to guide the Pension Schemes Bill through Parliament over the next couple of months.  However, now a General Election has been announced for 12 December, the current Parliament will dissolve and the Bill will fall, to be reintroduced in the next Parliament.

 

17 October 2019 – Data Standards Working Group coming first

Speaking at the PLSA Annual Conference 2019 in Manchester, Pensions Dashboards Principal Chris Curry confirms that the Data Standards Working Group will be set up first with broad timings for the programme being published in early 2020.

Chris at PLSA

 

15 October 2019 – Pension Schemes Bill introduced

The draft Pension Scheme Bill (including dashboard clauses 118-122) is introduced to the House of Lords and has its first reading.PSB Introduction

 

14 October 2019 – Pension Schemes Bill announced in Queen’s Speech

Queens Speech image

At the State Opening of Parliament, the Queen’s Speech announces that “To help people plan for the future, measures will be brought forward to provide simpler oversight of pensions savings”.  These measures will be included in a Pension Schemes Bill.

The accompanying Background Briefing Notes state (on page 69) that the Bill will provide “a framework to support pensions dashboards, including new powers to compel pension schemes to provide accurate information to consumers. This will include provisions for the Regulators to ensure relevant schemes comply.”

In a MaPS press release, Dashboard Principal Chris Curry says that “it’s time for pension schemes, providers and their administrators to ensure they’re making plans for how their schemes will be ready to feed into the dashboards of the future.”

 

6 October 2019 – New Ipsos research

Ipsos MORI publishes a new research report including the finding that 78% of people aged 18-54 think a dashboard would make it easier to keep track of their pensions.  But report author Joanna Crossfield warns that “people already find pensions complicated and overwhelming – dashboards must help to address this rather than adding to it”.

Ipsos Research

 

1 October 2019 – Pensions Bill ready to go

Also at the 2019 Conservative Party Conference, at a breakfast fringe event organised by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) and The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) – see the agenda below – the Pensions Minister Guy Opperman is reported as saying (in an FT Adviser article), that the pensions dashboards compulsion clauses are drafted and ready to go in the Pensions Bill.  “It got a bit more complicated than I thought it would be originally, but the clauses are now ready” in the Bill, due to be announced in the Queen’s Speech scheduled for 14 October 2019.

SMF Fringe Event

 

30 September 2019 –  Party Conference confirmation

At the 2019 Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey MP reconfirms that the Government will “put people in control of their pension pots by ensuring the delivery of pensions dashboards so that people can see their savings online and in one place”.

Therese Coffey

 

25 September 2019 – Steering Group members announced

MaPS announces the 10 people who will serve on the Pensions Dashboards Steering Group, with photos too.  Alongside Principal Chris Curry and Implementation Director Angela Pober, these 12 individuals will take all the key decisions required to make pensions dashboards a reality in the coming years.

 

28 August 2019 – Working group recruitment commences

Following the closing date for steering group applications, MaPS publishes an invitation to industry representatives to volunteer for a range of working groups, covering a dozen different topics.  The working groups will work in short sprints to produce various deliverables for the pensions dashboards implementation programme.

 

5 August 2019 – W&P Committee Recommendations

In its Report on Pension costs and transparency, the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee recommends that:

  • The Government should take a leading role in ensuring schemes adequately prepare ahead of launch and the project delivers the full benefits to consumers
  • State Pension be included at launch as it forms a key component of many individuals’ pension incomes
  • The Government publishes a rollout timetable by the end of 2019, including dates for pension providers to include their data on dashboards
  • Dashboards should feature retirement income targets to ensure information is meaningful to users.

 

25 July 2019 – Steering group appointments commence

In an update to the industry, MaPS invites applications to join the 12-strong Steering Group of the Pensions Dashboards Industry Delivery Group (PDIDG).  There is one month to apply (closing date is 26 August 2019), with appointments being made during September and the Steering Group expected to meet for the first time in October.  At the same time, Steering Group Chair Chris Curry publishes his first blog.

 

1 July 2019 – Implementation Director appointed

In a press release, MaPS announces its appointment of Angela Pober as the Implementation Director of the Pensions Dashboard Industry Delivery Group, as well as appointing Capgemini to produce the dashboard business case and roadmap.

 

19 June 2019 – Dashboards need a Victorian vision

With a fortnight or so to go until Chris Curry takes up his post as MaPS Dashboard Delivery Group Principal, Dunstan Thomas Director of Retirement Strategy Adrian Boulding writes a wonderfully colourful Retirement Planner article, in which argues that the engineers designing the “plumbing” for pensions dashboards should have just as long-term a vision as the designers of London’s Victorian sewer system, since functioning 150 years later.

 

3 June 2019 – Delivery Group Principal appointed

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) announces in a press release that it has appointed the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) Director Chris Curry as the Principal of its industry delivery group for pensions dashboards.

 

19 April 2019 – Queen’s Speech is coming

A report in The Times states that the Queen’s Speech will be made “in or around June 2019” and will include a Pension Schemes Bill covering TPR powers and dashboards.

 

4 April 2019 – DWP consultation response

Government publishes its response to the dashboards consultation.

Meanwhile, the Work & Pensions Committee publishes evidence received from various parties about scheme’s data readiness.

 

3 April 2019 – Response by “end of the term”

The Pensions Minister tells a Work and Pensions Committee Meeting that he intends to publish the Government’s pensions dashboards consultation response by the “end of the term” but can’t give a precise date.

 

21 March 2019 – Benefits of multiple dashboards

In the next of his series of extended blog articles on pensions dashboards, the ABI Policy Adviser Matt Burrell sets out the benefits of multiple dashboards and argues that their risks are not that dissimilar to those of a single dashboard.

 

12 March 2019 – First SFGB Dashboard Roles

The Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB) posts the first two job adverts for roles in the  Pensions Dashboards Industry Delivery Group, namely the Steering Group Chair and the Implementation Executive Director, with closing dates of 5 April 2019.

 

7 March 2019 – No Master Trusts in 2019

Aegon Head of Pensions Kate Smith says in an FT Adviser article that the 2019 focus on master trust authorisation (MTA)* means these scheme won’t be able to allocate significant resources this year to preparing for dashboards.  However, Kim Brown (The Pensions Regulator (TPR) Head of MTA) says MTA will help master trusts be better prepared for dashboards generally.

* applications by end of March, authorisation decisions from TPR by end of September

 

4 March 2019 – MAPS to lead on dashboards

Government is proposing that the newly established Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB) takes a lead role in driving the delivery pensions dashboards.  Today the body is given the new name the Money and Pensions Service (MAPS) in a Statutory Instrument laid before Parliament and coming into force on 6 April 2019.

 

1 March 2019 – WTF and Back to basics

Young Money blogger Iona Bain invokes Julien Baptiste in an excellent blog post about pension dashboards and how you’ll have to continue being a detective and search for your own missing pensions until dashboards are up and running.

And in the first of a series of Money Marketing articles, Royal London Strategic Insight Manager Ian Macintyre takes us back to basics reminding us what dashboards will do and what they will depend on.

 

28 February 2019 – Guidance and dashboard together?

A Pensions Age article, reports on Baroness Drake speaking at the ABI Annual Conference 2019 where she encouraged combining dashboards with guidance: “I worry people will see all their data and this will just reinforce poor behaviour because they have even more information to exercise sub-optimal decisions on.”

 

15 February 2019 – 125 consultation responses and a debate

Quoted in a New Model Adviser article, a DWP spokesperson reveals that the Department received 125 responses to the pensions dashboards consultation.  About 12% of these have been published in the public domain – see the list below.

Meanwhile, Prospect Magazine, in conjunction with The People’s Pension, hosts a dashboard debate with the Pensions Minister and leading industry figures.

 

13 February 2019 – Housing wealth in or out?

In a letter to the Pensions Minister, Equity Release Council Chairman David Burrowes argues that housing wealth is so significant to retirement planning that it should be included in the pensions dashboard.  But in an FT Adviser article, Sunday Times Money Editor James Coney argues that property assets should definitely not be included.

 

6 February 2019 – Westminster Hall debate

In a well attended Commons debate on the subject of the pensions dashboard, key messages articulated were the importance of legislation (to compel data to be provided), regulation (to ensure appropriate treatment of that data) and governance (to ensure the set up and operation of pensions dashboards is properly managed).

On the same day, those were exactly the same three headings listed as essential by the ABI’s Matt Burrell in his latest dashboard blog article.

 

4 February 2019 – An actuarial perspective

The Future Pensions Landscape Working Party of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries publishes an extensive paper on the information that could be displayed on pensions dashboards.  This will be a very useful document as the implementation is planned later in 2019.

 

29 January 2019 – Consultation responses

The DWP’s eight-week dashboard consultation ran from 3 December 2018 to 28 January 2019.  DWP received 125 responses from various organisations and individuals with about 12% of those organisations choosing to publish their responses in the public domain:

Altus Business Systems response

Association of Consulting Actuaries response

Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (CISI) response

Firefighters’ Pensions (England) Scheme Advisory Board response

Hymans Robertson response

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries Response

Low Incomes Tax Reform Group response

NEST and NEST Member Panel response

Origo response

PensionBee blog posts on timescales, infrastructure & governance

Pension Protection Fund response

Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association response

Pensions Policy Institute response

The People’s Pension report

Pinsent Masons response

Tax Incentivised Savings Association response