Brits will have to wait until 2023 for an online pensions dashboard scheme which will allow people to see all their retirement savings pots in one place.
The 2023 deadline is four years later than the government first indicated — in 2016, the then chancellor George Osborne set a deadline of 2019 to launch the service.
But a timeline outlined by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) said the Pensions Dashboards Programme, set up in 2019 to develop the digital systems and governance framework, says it doesn’t expect there to be enough pensions data ready to launch dashboards before 2023.
Some 52 million retirement savers in the UK will need to connect up to 130 million pensions supplied by more than 40,000 different schemes using the online dashboards.
The dashboards will bring together savers’ different private, public and state schemes in one place that can be viewed from a smartphone or computer.
It is hoped that they will help people to see exactly how much in total they have put away for their retirement — and how much more they may still need to save.
Investment platform AJ Bell said the government will be criticised for delays, but Tom Selby, a senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: “Allowing people to see all their retirement pots in one place is a colossal undertaking, particularly when you consider the hotchpotch of different schemes that exist.”
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The scheme is meant to accompany automatic pension enrolment, which was introduced in 2012 and has brought millions of people into workplace pension saving.
Helen Morrissey, a pension specialist at Royal London, said: “After already progressing at a snail’s pace for some time, it is hugely disappointing to see this project further delayed.
“Of course such projects are complex but the potential that dashboards have to help people take control of their retirement planning is huge and must be grasped. Every delay risks letting down a generation of savers.”
Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said: “The timetable has been pushed out by four years. Although this is disappointing, we believe the delay is worthwhile using the extra time to get things right.
“Critical mass is needed from day one, to allow people to find the majority of their pensions.”
Rob Yuille, assistant director and head of long-term savings at the Association of British Insurers, said: “Most importantly, today’s update provides a clear timeline of when we can expect the public to start using dashboards and what needs to happen first.
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“That gives certainty for industry and allows time to make sure the dashboards work effectively and are user friendly. The timeline is longer than we might have wanted but the project has now made tangible progress and reached key milestones.”
Minister for pensions and financial inclusion Guy Opperman described the new timetable as “sensible.”
He said: “Bringing information to savers at the touch of a smartphone screen will transform how we all think about and plan our pensions, improving financial resilience for later life.”
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