Pension dashboard proposals raise alarm bells for self-employed

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Pioneering proposals to give millions of people their pension facts and figures at their fingertips have been unveiled by the government.

New free, user-friendly ‘pensions dashboards’ would allow people to access their information from most pension schemes in one place online for the first time say the Government.

It would:

  • give people accurate, easy to understand, secure information
  • show people clearly how much they have in their pension pots and what they can expect to have to live on in retirement
  • put people in control of when and how they check their data and who has access to it
  • help people to find ‘lost’ pension pots

However, the government is seeking views about what the new services will look like and how they will work and state pension information is not likely to be included initially.

Responding to the proposals Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry says: “The DWP’s decision to hand responsibility for delivering pensions dashboards to industry will have alarm bells ringing among the self-employed.

“Fewer than one in three sole traders currently save into a private pension. The danger is – without government pulling out all the stops to deliver these dashboards – the incredibly drawn out process of making them a reality will yield little impact. We need to see the new DWP Secretary Amber Rudd inject some leadership and drive into this long-delayed initiative.

“Pensions dashboards should link to users’ state pension data from day one so they know exactly where they stand. We can’t continue with a situation where some sole traders think the state pension will be enough to get by on in retirement.

“The rollout of pensions dashboards should be coupled with proactive saving prompts from the Government. Self-assessment tax return reminders could, for example, lay the foundations for nudges which encourage small business owners to save more for the future.”