Well over 100 constituents have contacted me so far regarding the 38 Degrees campaign on the Government scrapping its plans for the creation of the Pensions Dashboard.
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.
Labour has long supported the creation of the dashboard as it would make pensions guidance more effective and give people a better insight into their future earnings after they retire.
Many people currently have very little idea of the value of their pension schemes. An added complication is that many of us are in multiple schemes, which makes it even more difficult to keep track of what our returns might be. The Government has estimated that 50 million pension pots with £3 billion in savings would be lost without a dashboard and one in five adults admit that they have already lost a pension pot.
Unfortunately, on 4th September 2018 the Government issued a statement outlining its decision to merely back (rather than create) the Pensions Dashboard, provided it is run by industry. This is a cop-out: the 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, the data of millions of people will be accessible through the dashboard and I am concerned that if it is privately-run savers’ data could be put at risk. The dashboard must be accompanied by high standards, tough regulations and sound governance.
Our front bench team will continue to press the Government on this issue at every opportunity.