During her speech, Her Majesty the Queen confirmed that “Measures will be brought forward to provide simpler oversight of pension savings.” This refers the Pension Dashboard part of the government’s Pensions Bill.
After consistent campaigning by Which? and other groups, this idea was confirmed in 2016.
But what does it actually mean for you?
What is the Pension Dashboard?
Basically, it is an online tool that collects all the information about your pensions together in one place. Like the dashboard of your car or website CMS. You can track how much you have saved towards your pension with absolute clarity. It will include State, Workplace and private pensions.
This lack of cohesion around different pension pots already makes it quite tricky to monitor your tax liability and make a pension tax rebate claim. Anything that simplifies one government department’s processes will surely increase the efficiency of others.
But most people only have one or two pensions, don’t they?
Considering that the Department for Work and Pensions estimate that taxpayers will have an average of 11 jobs during their life, this kind of organisation seems to be crucial. You could end up with several little pension pots from all the different periods of your employment and no real grasp on when you can actually afford to retire.
Head of Money at Which?, Gareth Shaw, said: “Pensions dashboards have the potential to bring huge benefits for savers by bringing together all their pensions in one place, which should help millions of people to keep track of their savings and understand them better. The government must ensure that dashboards enable savers to see relevant information about all their pension pots in one place – including the state pension – and outline key information such as charges and income projection figures, to ensure they are equipped with the information they need to plan for their future.”
Why does the Pensions Regulator need more power?
The government want to empower the Pensions Regulator with the ability to make pension providers join in with the scheme and put the onus on them to supply correct information to pension savers.
They also want to introduce a new criminal offence that is specific to “irresponsible” private pension schemes. For those making money from such schemes, the proposed penalty is up to £1 million or seven years jail time.