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NEWSLETTER

UK’s Pension Dashboard forges ahead

It has been more than two decades in the making but this week the Department for Work and Pensions announced that all schemes be part of the UK’s Pension Dashboard by October 2026.

This deadline will mark 24 years since the idea to provide online access to individual pension scheme information in one place was first touted – initially called the Online Retirement Planner – and the move is widely seen as instrumental in engaging savers with their pension pots.

Paul Maynard, Secretary of State for Pensions, has published guidance setting out a staged timetable for connection which he says will “help smooth the process of connecting the approximately 3,000 pension schemes and providers in scope by the connection deadline of 31 October 2026”.

The timetable sees the largest pension schemes and providers come on line first and they are expected to have completed connection by the end of April 2025.

Maynard says the government is “absolutely committed to delivering pensions dashboards safely and securely to the public at the earliest opportunity”, but this is a massive undertaking and delivery largely falls to the finance industry.

Collaboration between potential providers will be essential if users are to have access to technology that they trust – and importantly – that works.

It is encouraging then that four operators – Just Group, Legal & General, Moneyhub and Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group – have announced the Pensions Dashboard Operators Coalition “to support the launch of highly effective dashboards to consumers as early as possible”.

Moneyhub Chief Executive Officer Sam Seaton says: “As an industry, we urgently need to collaborate to launch commercial pensions dashboards for consumers as soon as possible. Working with the Financial Conduct Authority and Pensions Dashboards Programme, the Dashboard Operators Coalition will be instrumental in bringing an open and collaborative environment to commercial pensions dashboards, and in doing so, help millions of consumers achieve a healthier financial future.”

The coalition calls on other prospective providers to join them to put the “full weight of our experience behind the efforts of the DOC to help make pensions dashboards a success from day one”.

Crucially industry collaboration may prevent any political change from hampering the dashboard’s progress – particularly with an election this year.

In other news we bring you research from Goldman Sachs that finds the improved funding fortunes of Europe’s defined benefit funds is driving them towards cash.

Over the past two years financial conditions have driven a massive improvement in DB funding ratios, with the aggregate rate reaching 120 per cent for plans in Europe, while in the UK ratios are at record highs of 134 per cent, affording trustees the luxury of dialling down risk and ramping up liquidity.

However, while interest rates remain high for now, this looks set to change with forecasts for central banks expected to bring rates down later this year. So, while cash may be king for now, how long it may reign is uncertain.”

Gill Wadsworth, Editor

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Four potential operators of pensions dashboards (Just Group, Legal & General, Moneyhub and Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group) are coming together to instigate a new industry coalition.

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