Problems for the pension dashboard

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The Government’s Pensions Dashboard plans unveiled last month have many hurdles to overcome and poor pension records could torpedo them, an ex Pensions Minister has warned. Baroness Ros Altmann says legacy schemes will take years and cost huge sums to convert to electronic format.

While welcoming progress on the dashboard, she believes trying to get all old pensions included on a Pensions Dashboard on day one is “doomed to failure” and a more realistic approach is to start with auto-enrolment and the State Pension first but regulators must ensure all pension records are correct.

She said even recent auto-enrolment data was full of errors and there were no official requirements to report on accuracy or error corrections. Consensus is that the biggest three hurdles are:

  • Legacy pensions are not held in electronic format so will take years and cost huge sums to add all old pensions to a dashboard
  • Legacy pensions could be better handled initially by mandating a standard format for written statements
  • For any Pensions Dashboard to be meaningful, it needs to have accurate data but current data is often riddled with errors