The sample dashboard below (Sample004) shows a simple table of my pensions, assuming they can all be digitally found, in chronological order. Click or tap the Pension names to go to each pension scheme’s / provider’s website to find out more details about each pension.
(Sample004 is similar to the PDP mock-up – see PDP July 2021 research, Figure 3, page 14.)
Table in start date order
|State Pension||8 Aug 1983||13 Aug 2021||8 Aug 2034||£9,490 a year|
|Pension Protection Fund||5 Oct 1987||? ??? ????||8 Aug 2027|
8 Aug 2032
|£140 a year|
£1,500 a year
|Prudential Staff Pension Scheme||1 Oct 1991||7 Jul 1995||8 Aug 2027||£1,130 a year|
|Prudential Staff Pension Scheme||9 Apr 1996||31 Dec 1998||8 Aug 2027||£1,020 a year|
|Centrica Pension Plan||1 Jan 1999||28 Aug 2021||31 Aug 2032||£2,160 a year|
|Aon Master Trust||1 Feb 2001||13 Aug 2021||8 Aug 2041||£3,750 a year|
|Aviva||1 Nov 2003||8 Jul 2021||8 Aug 2041||£12,500 a year|
|Nest||1 Jul 2016||31 Mar 2021||8 Aug 2041||£19,100 a year|
|Scottish Widows||1 Sep 2020||8 Mar 2021||8 Aug 2032||£120 a year|
What are the problems with a table format like this?
Readability: The table really has to be a multi-column table, showing each pension’s multiple dates (which I’ll discuss later). But, given many users will be using dashboards on their mobile phones, will a multi-column table be easy to interpret on a phone? Rotating the phone sideways could help a bit:
Invalid user totalling: In addition to the table formatting issues, showing a column of amounts (in this case, the far right “Annual amount” column) is an invitation to the user to add these up to get a total.
In Sample001 and 002, I can’t see my different pension amounts at the same time. When I expand one pension, the other pensions collapse. This is deliberate.
When pension amounts are shown together, there’s a natural tendency to add them up.
We know from the extensive Dutch research in 2019 (see The Netherlands page) that people want to see their total pension income. So if the different pension income amounts are displayed next to each other (for example, in a table as above), users will very likely attempt to add them together to get a total. Beta testing should explore the extent to which users instinctively do this.
But of course it’s not valid to add together these amounts because they are not updated to the same date.
The “Date last updated” column shows that some of the Annual amounts are out of date (for example, see my two Prudential pensions which are as at 1995 and 1998). Unless the user carefully studies the “Date last updated”, they might not realise this.
One way to make this easier to see and understand might be to display the pensions in order of “Date last updated”. See Sample005 for an example of this.