The sample dashboard below (Sample005) shows a simple table of my pensions, assuming they can all be digitally found.
At the top are pensions which have been recently updated (in the order of the date they were last updated), and below are pensions which are as at a historic date.
Table in last updated date order
|Pensions updated recently|
|Scottish Widows||1 Sep 2020||8 Mar 2021||8 Aug 2032||£120 a year|
|Nest||1 Jul 2016||31 Mar 2021||8 Aug 2041||£19,100 a year|
|Aviva||1 Nov 2003||8 Jul 2021||8 Aug 2041||£12,500 a year|
|State Pension||8 Aug 1983||13 Aug 2021||8 Aug 2034||£9,490 a year|
|Aon Master Trust||1 Feb 2001||13 Aug 2021||8 Aug 2041||£3,750 a year|
|Centrica Pension Plan||1 Jan 1999||28 Aug 2021||31 Aug 2032||£2,160 a year|
|Pension Protection Fund||5 Oct 1987||? ??? ????||8 Aug 2027|
8 Aug 2032
|£140 a year|
£1,500 a year
|Pensions as at a historic date|
|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|
Sample005 is exactly the same table as Sample004 except the “out of date” pensions (which will generally be from earlier in the user’s working life) are at the bottom. Although maybe they should be at the top to highlight even more clearly that they are out of date?
Notice, though, that ordering the pensions by “Date last updated” has lost the intuitive “Date started” sequencing. Maybe all “recent” pensions (say those updated at any point in the last 12 months) should be displayed in order of “Date started”. This should be beta tested.
But when can I get the money?
The Sample004 table shows my pensions in the order they started to build up (my career order), but that mixed up out of date amounts with more current amounts. So the Sample005 table shows them ordered by the date they were last updated (split between recent and historic).
But this still doesn’t enable the user to simply add up all the amounts – all we’ve done is made the “out of date-ness” of the old pensions a little bit more obvious. (And maybe it should be made even more obvious? Maybe colour-coded? Something else to be beta tested.)
This is all quite confusing and, for a dashboard user, possibly not the most interesting thing about each pension. There’s a third date relating to each pension which, we know from international dashboards usage, will be of great interest to users, namely:
Date payable from, i.e. the date from which I can actually start getting each pension income paid to me.
Of course, the dates shown in the “Date payable from” column aren’t actually the earliest dates I can start receiving each pension.
For each pension in the table, the “Date payable from” shown will generally be the “Normal Retirement Date (NRD)” or “Normal Pension Date (NPD)” of a defined benefit (DB) pension arrangement. And for defined contribution (DC) arrangements, the date will likely be the individual’s “Selected Retirement Date (SRD)”, which often defaults to 65th birthday, or State Pension Date, if the individual doesn’t actively select a specific date.
But of course, these aren’t the earliest dates the pensions can be accessed. In the majority of cases, the earliest date is the individual’s 55th birthday (this is known as normal minimum pension age, or NMPA), increasing from April 2028 to their 57th birthday.
So, for each pension, we have a “Date payable from” (or maybe multiple dates if, for example, the pension is split into multiple tranches – see my Pension Protection Fund amounts as an example). But these aren’t actually the earliest possible “Dates payable from”.
But let’s put to one side for one moment the challenge of communicating to users this “earliest possible payment from age 55 (or 57)” complexity.
Perhaps users would find it helpful to see their pensions in the order in which they are “normally” payable? (i.e. in order of “Date payable from”). See Sample006 for an example of this.